Apologia - Botany Homeschooling

Botany Unit Study: Introduction

Welcome to our new Botany Unit Study: Unit 1 – Introduction. Over the next twelve weeks, the girls and I will be learning all we can about the world of plants. We will be growing, investigating and eating plants, and we are very excited! We will be using the very excellent Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany text books as our spine and hopefully doing lots of extra hands on stuff as we go along.

Botany Unit Study: Introduction

Botany Unit Study: Introduction – What Botanists Do

As always, the first thing to do is read the chapter out loud to the girls. Sometimes I have them read it, sometimes I have them narrate it back to me and sometimes I give them dictation based on the passage I have read. I tend to read in fairly small increments and break up the lesson with lots of hands on activities.

This year I am having the girls illustrate their notebooks primarily using their own drawings. Our first double spread was discovering what Botany was and what Botanists do:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction

Here they are drawing some plants and scientists studying the plants with a short narration:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Botany Unit Study: Introduction

They also collected some seeds to stick in:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Botany Unit Study: Introduction

Botany Unit Study: Introduction – Planning and Planting a Vegetable Garden

They answered some questions and planned out their vegetable garden:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Botany Unit Study: Introduction

We enlisted Thomas and Gary to help clear the spot and to plant up our vegetable plot:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Showing Daddy where everything is going
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Daddy showing the girls how to plant garlic and onion
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Planting onions and garlic
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Planting potatoes
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Tomato plants
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Sewing carrot seeds
Botany Unit Study: Introduction
Lettuces planted on right hand side

The girls made a notepage with photos in so we could keep a running diary of our vegetable plot:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction

Botany Unit Study: Introduction – Learning how to Classify

We did a classification activity, classifying doll’s house furniture into kingdom, phylum, class and order which was a surprisingly effective method of explaining classification:

We did one thing at a time and the girls copied what was in each group into their notebook:

Here the kingdom was the kitchen; the phylum groups were furniture and non furniture; the classes were non- electrical, electrical, edible and non edible and the orders were chairs, table, cooker, fridge, non animal, animal, serving implements and accessories:

The girls made up a nice note page to go with it:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction – Vascular and Non-Vascular Plants

The next thing I read was about vascular and non vascular plants. The girls chose an ivy and a bay leaf to stick in their journals as examples of vascular plants (their venous system was very obvious):

And I pulled some moss off the roof for them to study and draw:

Non vascular plants do not have a venous system to take up water. Instead they absorb water as it travel by osmosis to the parts of the plant which need it.

We did an demonstration with paper towel and blue water to show how this works in practice:

Immediately the girls placed the dry paper towels into the water, the dyed water travel from an area of high concentration (the dish) to an area of low concentration (the dry towel):

This continued until equilibrium had been reached:

The girls made a notebook with photos of their demonstration as well as stuck in specimens and drawings:

I read about angiosperms (seed containers), gymnosperms (uncovered seeds), seedless vascular (fern) and non vascular (moss) plants. The girls collected some samples of each and made some drawings in their journal:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction – Planting a Herb Garden

The girls also made a plan of a herb garden which they planted up outside our front garden with their daddy:

Showing Daddy where each plant was going
Planting up
Planting up

And they made a notebook page detailing their plans:

And then did a cross word checking they had understood everything the chapter had to offer:

As well as a fun, colourful mini book:

Botany Unit Study: Introduction – Making a Herby Soap

The last activity was a fun hands on aromatic one to finish off the chapter in as lovely way as possible…making soap using some herbs from our Granny’s herb garden.

I grabbed some goat’s milk base soap, lavender essential oil, fresh lavender flowers and some cake tin liners:

The girls melted the soap gently over boiling water and added in the flowers:

Abs then added a few drops of essential oil:

Before ladling the mixture into the individual baking cups:

These were left to dry:

And packaged up nicely into a gift jar:

Such fun!

What a great end to a great first chapter!

For more science posts do visit my Science Page

And for more Apologia Science Please visit my Astronomy Page for heaps and heaps of fun hands on activities to go along with any space related learning!

7 comments on “Botany Unit Study: Introduction

  1. I am so impressed! What a delightful unit. I love seeing your homeschool in action.

    • Aww thanks Camie! I was informed by yoast that I had 73 photos in that post…it sounds a bit excessive but I don’t want to count them all just in case they are right! I need to cut down on my photos for each post!

  2. Such a cool program!

    • I do enjoy all the Apologia elementary books. I’ve used the text books for all five children now so it’s been a good purchase!

  3. It never occurred to me to separate garlic cloves to grow them. I’ll be curious to see how this goes.

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