• Youth Energy Squad

Who Grows Around You?



Context:

There are over 300,000 different types of known plant species currently in the world. Plants are everywhere. Learning what they are and how to interact with them can become a tool to help us feel harmony and experience control in unfamiliar places. Being able to walk into any area and recognize something can help create a safe space that has a focus on the environment. Creating awareness of the space we interact with can begin by looking closely at different flora to describe characteristics to identify them. When you can recognize a plant, you can figure out how it can be used as a tool to benefit yourself. These understanding demonstrate that learning can take shape anywhere.






Goals: Age Group: 5th -12th grade

  • Develop awareness of nature

  • Identify different flora in or around their homes



Supplies: Time: 30 minutes

  • Internet access

  • Computer/ Phone 

  • Notebook and writing utensil






Instructions:

Find a plant you would like to identify and write a short list of the plant’s characteristics. Afterwards use this key to identify the plant by the list you wrote. Each sub group has pictures, video, and a description to help determine what you are studying. When finished answer the reflection questions.



https://gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/simple/













Reflection Questions


  • Why do you think a certain plant looks how it does?


  • Does the shape of the leaves or flowers serve a job for the plant?


  • What kind of plants look the same? Why do you think they have similarities? Ex. both aloe vera and Fairies Washboard (common names) have thick leaves 


  • Do you notice a certain type of plant is more common where you live? Why would these plants grow easier in those areas?


  • What animals do you see interacting with the plant? What effects does the interactions have on the appearance of the plant?


  • What kind of grass or trees grow where you live? Are they native to the area or were they planted?


  • What was your favorite plant you found and what else does the plant do? Ex. can it be used in first aid, teas, cooking, etc.








Always check your foraging regulations in your area if you want to take any of the plants home





Resources 

https://www.explorenaturalcommunities.org/ecology-basics/secret-lives-plants#Specialist%20Generalist (general information about plants)

http://www.nativeplant.com/plants/search/input (check if the plant is native)



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