Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grace's Botany Block

Though we have wrapped up lessons for the year, I wanted to share some pictures and thoughts on Grace's lovely botany block before any more time passed. This was such a wonderful block. One of our most favorites, if I do say so. I used the botany lessons from the Waldorf Essentials grade five book as our foundation and through some searching on the internet and ideas I came up with on my own (or from my classroom teaching days) the block came together beautifully. There was much that I needed to remember, or learn altogether, since botany, as a stand alone subject, was not something that I had any experience with from my school days. Plants always fell under biology, of course, and were maybe a couple of days at best. This block lasted for about eight weeks. Though we definitely could have gone longer. 
The kingdoms as a tree of life. This one was a bit hard for me to envision when I read about it in the grade five book, but with some imagination I think we made it work! 
To experience the bacteria we made our own yogurt, and to explore the fungi kingdom we made pizza dough using yeast. 
Looking at moss up close. 
It was a little too early for ferns in our yard, so instead we took to YouTube to watch some videos of them unfolding. 
Though she did not mention them in her page we did talk about the giant sequoias and watched, with amazement, this video from National Geographic. 
Creating her life cycle of the pea plant page. 
We couldn't have a botany block without some seed planting. 
Monocots and Dicots were something that I had to spend a few days understanding before I could bring it to Grace. This was not something I remembered learning, and it was only after several days of Googling that I felt I understood it enough to be able to explain it to her.
Bean sprouting. 

As it has been about five or six years since we last ordered caterpillars to watch the butterfly life cycle unfold, and with pollinators being such a big part of the botany block, I orders a cup of painted lady caterpillars. Not only was this a perfect activity for Grace's botany block, it also fit with Emma's human and animal (and pollinator) block! I love when their main lesson blocks are in sync like that! 
Because spring took so incredibly long to arrive we did not get to plant our garden. Plans have been made for it thought, and with any luck we will get the gardens cleaned and prepared tomorrow so that they can  receive seedlings on Saturday. Once the seedlings are in and growing we'll order a bucket of ladybugs to add to the garden as organic pest control, thus adding another activity to support this glorious botany block! xo


  1. Her Botany book is beautiful- such a treasure! I really want to do Botany myself.

    1. You must do this block with Alice! It was truly SO wonderful! I'm excited we get to do it again next year with Emma! Truly one of my most favorites ever! xo

    2. It really is so special!