Resources for Self-guided Field Trips

Below you will find four sets of resources to use during self-guided field trips to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Each program includes activities for before, during, and after your visit.

Plant Parts & Functions

Recommended for grades K-2. In this set of lessons, young learners will observe, draw, and label different plant parts in order to better understand their functions.

NGSS standards addressed include:

  • K-LS1-1: Use observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • 1-LS1-1: Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
    • LS1.A Structure and Function: All organisms have external parts…Plants also have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow.
  • 2-LS4-1: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Pollination

Recommended for grades 2-4. These resources on pollination will help students better understand the relationship between plants and their pollinators.

NGSS standards addressed include:

  • 2-LS2-2: Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
    • LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Plants depend on water and light to grow. Plants depend on animals for pollination or to move their seeds.
  • 3-LS1-1: Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
    • LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms: Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles.
  • 4-LS1-1: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Adaptations

Recommended for grades 3-5. These activities will give students the opportunity to investigate the different biomes represented in the conservatory as well as native Michigan ecosystems showcased on the trails.

NGSS standards addressed include:

  • 3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct and explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
  • 3-LS4-3: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 5-LS1-1: Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

Ecosystems

Recommended for grades 5-8. Using these resources, students can explore the complex relationships between the abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems around the world and here in Michigan. This section includes a separate program that focuses on Matthaei’s Willow Pond as an ecosystem case study.

NGSS standards addressed include:

  • 5-LS2-1: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • MS-LS1-1: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
  • MS-LS2-2: Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • MS-LS2-3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.