Friday, September 11, 2009

Botany Cabinet: Need Help!

I have another plea for help! I received my materials order yesterday (more about that later). The botany cabinets that are sold at the discount suppliers all seem to be four-drawer rather than three-drawer cabinets and have no blanks. As a result, my new cabinet has 24 leaf shapes rather than 14. Unfortunately, this means that all of the resources that I use as my teacher "albums" do not cover all of the leaf shapes that I have available. Does anyone know where I can find lesson plans that will cover the presentation of the entire cabinet with all 24 shapes? Also, does anyone know where I can get leaf cabinet cards that have all of the shapes as well?

6 comments:

  1. Take out extra leaf shapes and make spaces ;) good luck!

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  2. P.S.,

    You crack me up! That was certainly my first thought. Some of the "extra" leaves match what's in our backyard more than any in the standard bunch though.

    If you don't mind my asking, at what age do they actually typically learn the fancy names for all of the leaf shapes rather than just "experience the cabinet sensorially?"

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  3. It depends. I start intoducing names after they have explored sensorially. This could be at 3.5 or later. Personally, I've had a hard time getting children interested in the botany cabinet at all. I don't know if it is the lack of connection to the real world (not that muchnature around us) or if I need to present better. Either way, I'd say late 3 to 4 is a good time for botany language. The Moveable Alphabet had a great post a while back about showing the way the botany cabinet shapes are a base for other leaf shapes...

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  4. I just ordered one for my classroom and my aide threw away the guide. I need help with the names, if anyone can help me. I'm well versed in leaf shapes but the tray with the different oak leaves are especially tricky. Thanks in advance for the help!

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  5. Craig, The advice I got here and on some forums is that those leaves demonstrate different types of margins and lobing rather than leaf shapes and should be removed from the cabinet while they are learning the leaf shapes. I just pulled them out of storage this year to actually discuss margin and lobing. Also, there seems to be some disagreement among botanist about classifying those particular leaves.

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  6. This is hilarious! I literally just posted this same issue on a Montessori Facebook group yesterday! Thankfully all the responses were very helpful and one even had a forestry degree! It's great to get "extras" when buying things but these suppliers need to provide more description about what they're selling! I'm getting 4 blanks from someone who has some she's not using and will remove the extra 10 shapes. It's good to know they will be useful in a few years!

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