Two books that we consider essential for 5th grade botany:
Botany (2nd Edition) by Donna Simmons
Our fully-revised second edition gives you material to use to put together 4 Botany main lessons or a year's study of this subject. Includes 9 full-page color illustrations. This book provides all the guidance, lesson plans, activities, schedules and goals for your main lesson. It is lavishly illustrated with pictures from students’ Botany main lesson books to help you with your own drawings.
49 pages, 8½"x11", spiral-bound.
Q: Do I have to have a backyard to use this Unit Study?
Well, it would certainly help, both by making things easier and more meaningful if your child’s botany studies were based on the plants in his garden, but this is by no means crucial. I give many suggestions which city folks or suburbanites with limited greenery can use. A trip to the florist’s, a couple of window boxes, a terrarium, a visit to a botanical garden and trips to the park can all be used to create a very rich botany block.
Q: Is this book based on Northern plants and climates? I live in (the desert, on a mountain, by the beach, in Australia...)
Yes, it is, because that’s what I am familiar with and can therefore speak about with some authority. However, my main purpose in writing this study was to show people how they can design their own botany block based on their locality and, therefore, I believe this book will be of use to homeschoolers wherever they live. We live in Wisconsin, USA so we don’t have much seaweed at hand to study – but we can still talk about it and then focus more on the plants we do have! The same could be done by anyone, whether you’re surrounded by redwoods, palm trees, alpines or mangrove swamps.
Botany by Charles Kovacs
This lovely little book is an essential part of our 5th grade Botany main lessons. Written by a master Waldorf teacher, this gentle book covers all the various aspects of botany required by the curriculum. Also included is a short section on why botany is studied in 5th grade. It is necessary to also purchase Charles Kovacs’ Botany as he gives the in-depth narratives which form the substance of your work with your child. By reading his sections of flowering plants, or mushrooms, for instance, your child will receive the lesson material he would have gotten were he in a Waldorf school.
In our Botany curriculum we integrate chapters from this book, giving specific readings to correspond with your presentation of, for instance, trees, to your child. Thus, the book by Kovacs is not a nice extra but a necessary part of the Christopherus curriculum. You can either read from the book to your child or your child can read this herself.
Some of you might be familiar with Grohman’s book of 5th grade botany. We used to recommend his text, but since we revised our botany materials, we now use Kovacs, whose language and tone is better suited to modern children.
118 pages, paperback.