ALEX Lesson Plan


Botany Scavenger Hunt Where's the Ginkgo?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Nancy Caffee
System: Blount County
School: Blount County Career Technical Center
The event this resource created for:GEMS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 23957


Botany Scavenger Hunt Where's the Ginkgo?


Students use a science nature journal to log in plants native to Alabama. They sketch pictures of leaves, identify the special characteristics of the plant, and describe the environment where it was found. They also research special characteristics and classifiy the plant.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):

Local/National Standards:

National Science Education Standards BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION Species evolve over time. Evolution is the consequence of the interactions of (1) the potential for a species to increase its numbers, (2) the genetic variability of offspring due to mutation and recombination of genes, (3) a finite supply of the resources required for life, and (4) the ensuing selection by the environment of those offspring better able to survive and leave offspring. The great diversity of organisms is the result of more than 3.5 billion years of evolution that has filled every available niche with life forms. Natural selection and its evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the fossil record of ancient life forms, as well as for the striking molecular similarities observed among the diverse species of living organisms. The millions of different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms that live on earth today are related by descent from common ancestors. Biological classifications are based on how organisms are related. Organisms are classified into a hierarchy of groups and subgroups based on similarities which reflect their evolutionary relationships. Species is the most fundamental unit of classification.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to identify major characters of mosses, ferns, gymnospems, and angiosperms. Students will be able to identify native plants of Alabama. They will also be able to describe how certain plant species are adapted to an environment.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will also learn to use a nature journal to write thoughts about nature and make observations about the plant Papua in an area.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Nature Journal Notebook or folder Pencil, pens, and color pencils Copy of "A Key to Common Trees of Alabama"

Technology Resources Needed:

Classroom computer with A/V connection Access to Internet resources


Review the life cycle of plants and methods of classifying plants.

1.)Review the life cycle of mosses, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms.

2.)Review the Powerpoint on the life cycle of mosses, ferns, angiosperms, and gymnosperms.
This is a free Powerpoint available online.

3.)Download and make copies of "A Key to Common Trees of Alabama" for each student.

4.)Students will take a picture of each plant and load images into a slide presentation or convert to a Powerpoint.

5.)Students will use the booklet from the Alabama Cooperative Extension to identify the plants listed in the worksheet attached. Each student must identify and take pictures of 14 plants. Two of the plants will be of their own choice.

6.)Once the pictures are taken, the students will work in diverse groups of three to four students to load images into a slide presentation or convert to a Powerpoint. The group presentation must include at least 20 different plants. Students must be able to tell at least one fact about each plant in the presentation. Students should be creative in their presentation.

7.)Use the scoring rubric provided by Thinkfinity to grade the plant presentation.
(Read, Write, Think)
Thinkfinity provides links to scoring rubrics on the Read, Write, Think website.

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Assessment Strategies

A scoring rubric will be attached to evaluate the plant nature journal.


As an extension, students can create a leaf collections including at least 1 moss, one fern, 5 gymnosperms, and 5 angiosperms.


Students who need extra help may be paired with a peer tutor. An outline for the nature journal may also be provided.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.