Category: K-12 (elementary to high school)Page 1 of 2

Cover post image for El Nombre de las Plantas

Manual: El Nombre de las Plantas by Lena Struwe (Spanish translation of ‘The Naming of Plants’)

Carmen Acedo at University of León, in León, Spain, has gracefully translated the manual The Naming of Plants into Spanish.  We are making it available as a free…

Tracheophyte phylogeny and leaf origins (cc) E Hermsen

Website: Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life, plant articles by Elizabeth J. Hermsen

Elizabeth J. Hermsen has provided great illustrated web-based introductions to plant systematics, anatomy and morphology as part of the Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life.  These are great teaching…

Improvised plant press made from cardboard and newspaper (c) Tobias Policha

Manual: Making a plant press with what you’ve got, by Tobias Policha

Introduction to the manual Preparing a Press for a Plant Collection Assignment in a Remote Field Botany Course by Tobias Policha: Many of us include a collections assignment…

Using a smart phone and a handlens to photograph a stem of a plant

Presentation: How to photograph plants (and more), by Lena Struwe and Peter Nitzsche

So much of documentation of biodiversity and educational projects today include digital images, but how do you take good photos of plants and features associated with plants (such…

Coal land forest restoration

Video: Off-road Enthusiasts and Coal Land Forest Restoration | Plants are Cool, Too!

Conservation takes partnership. Many off-roaders think conservationists are all “tree-huggers”… and many conservationists think off-roaders are all “tree-killers.” But somewhere in between there is a sweet spot where…

Video: Rappelling Scientists Find Rare Species Hiding for 100+ Years | Plants Are Cool, Too!

A team of biologists drops off a cliff to learn more about one rare plant, but ends up discovering something completely unexpected with the help of science Twitter….

Video: Allegheny Ice and the Blue False Indigo | Plants are Cool, Too!

Key concept: Even plants we use in gardens can be rare in nature – and student Cheyenne Moore is doing her best to help protect one of the…

Video: Rare plant biodiversity protection at the National Tropical Botanical Garden | Plants Are Cool, Too

Behind-the-scenes view of the plant conservation pipeline at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kaua’i, where plant people are working every day to protect the plants of Hawai’i…

Eat your weeds logo (c) LStruwe

Handouts: Weedy Plant Information (toxicity, recipes, field identification), from Lena Struwe’s lab

Lena Struwe’s lab group at Rutgers University has developed several resources about common weeds of northeastern North America and these are shared with the public here.  They were…

(c) Lena Struwe, jellybean evolution

Activity: Jelly Bean Evolution Assignment, by Lena Struwe

In this assignment developed for beginning college level students by Lena Struwe at Rutgers University, the concepts of natural and artificial selection, as well as Lamarckian evolution, is…

store candy (c) LStruwe

Activity: Botanical Home Products, by Amy Berkov

What kind of and how much botanical diversity can you find in the products in a a home, or just in a bathroom,  freezer, fridge, or pantry?  Go…

flowering cherry tree

Activity: More iNaturalist Species Bingo sheets

Here is an alternative bingo sheet to the previously posted iNaturalist Species Bingo Project. I will post other species bingo sheets in this blog post when they are…

Screenshot Food, Agriculture and Cooking timeline.

Activity: Timeline of Evolution of Food, Agriculture, and Cooking, by Lena Struwe

This interactive timeline marking major events in the history and evolution of food, crops, migration of food, agriculture and cooking methods were created in 2012 by myself (Lena…

Passiflora dissection

Images: Virtual Flower Dissections, by Ben Montgomery

Looking for images of dissected flowers that you can turn 360 degrees to understand how flowers are constructed?  Look no more.  Benjamin R. Montgomery at University of South…

oak leaf

Activity and Manual: How to take good and bad photos of plants for online plant identification, by Lena Struwe

This is an assignment I use in my Plant Diversity and Evolution class the week before they start their iNaturalist project.   The students learn how to take great…

Dissected flower Antirrhinum majus MC

Images: Univ. Wisconsin-Madison’s Virtual Foliage website

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Dept of Botany have many teaching images available on their Virtual Foliage homepage. They are divided up in three themed sets (linked below with an…

UAF Intro to Alaska flora banner

Online course: Intro to Alaska Flora, by Stefanie Ickert-Bond

The online college class Intro to Alaska Flora from University of Alaska Fairbanks includes fantastic components developed by botany professor Stefanie Ickert-Bond. These online resources are available for…

Images: Dendrogrammaceae – a hypothetical family for the classroom, by Lynn Clark

These images of 21 hypothetical plants were created by Lynn Clark (Iowa State University) and Brandon Holt and can be used in a variety of exercises. Lynn Clark…

Symbolanthus (Gentianaceae). (c) Jason R. Grant.

Manual: The Naming of Plants – explanations and examples, by Lena Struwe

Looking for a non-technical beginners and intermediate users manual in plant nomenclature that explains scientific names, common names, cultivated and trade names, and what changes in plant classifications…

Activity: Know your numbers – Your body as a linear scale for plant species identification and description, by Lena Struwe

In identification keys and species descriptions around the world, measurements are usually in the metric system, the universal system for scientific measurements. US students often do not have…

Students at Rutgers doing the ER toxic plant role play assignment. Photo (c) Susanne Ruemmele, Rutgers University.

Activity: Toxic plants in the emergency room – fast and furious botanical role play, by Lena Struwe

Emergency Room (ER) toxic plant role play for Botany classes Developed by Dr. Lena Struwe (lena.struwe@rutgers.edu) This is the activity I presented at the Botany 2018 meeting as…

Activity & Book: Shanleya’s Quest – A Botany Adventure for Kids Ages 9 to 99, by Thomas Elpel

This innovative book and its 52 playing cards with flowers and families on them comes with instructions for 5 different card games to enhance learning of major family…

Book: ‘Botany in a Day’, by Thomas Elpel

The new 6th edition of this well-known book by Thomas Elpel follows the APG system (a phylogenetic classification system now used worldwide) and provides easy to access information…

Activity: Fitting the Earth’s timeline onto your body, by Lena Struwe

Key concept: Understanding and remembering order of events and time line for Earth’s geological and biological history. This is the handout for an exercise I do in my…

morphology bingo

Activity: Morphology Bingo, by Lena Struwe

Get your students to run around outside the classroom and dig through the weeds in the lawns to find examples of obtuse, spinose, calyx, capsule, stamen, trichome, and…

Eat your weeds logo

Article: Eat Your Weeds – Edible and Wild Plants in Education, by Lauren Frazee et al.

Weeds are everywhere and people like to taste new things, so why not combine the two?  Here is an article that explains how we did it at Rutgers…

Article: The Making of a Student-Driven Online Campus Flora, by Lena Struwe et al.

Key concept:  Engaging students in the discovering of biodiversity on a campus of a school or university can turn into a solid and valuable research project for years…

herbals St John's wort, SCLA Rutgers

Handout: Coloring pages of historical herbals, by Rutgers Libraries

Want to travel back in botanical history with watercolor or coloring pens?  Here are some illustrious handouts for students in many subjects (medicine, gardening, pharmacology, botany, history…), as…

students in front of supermarket

Activity and Article: Market Botany, by Chris Martine

College-level course module exploring the diversity of plant species available for sale at a local grocery store. Survey data are analyzed by calculating measures of species richness and…

Video: Carnivorous Pitcher Plants (13:16), by Chris Martine

Key concept: How pitcher plants lure, trap, and digest insect prey… with the help of millions of mystery microbes. Guest expert for this episode of “Plants are Cool,…