Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Finally...warm enough for some botany


We have had a bad case of spring fever this week.  The boys are doing a lot of their schoolwork outside, on the porch, on the patio, on the lawn, up trees...  The dog is ecstatic.  I've been waiting, waiting, waiting...and when we returned from spring break our hundreds of daffodils had bloomed!  We can dig back into some "from our own yard" hands on botany.   

We've done more than once, but the last time I posted about it was three years and two days ago.  The weather is a little different this year.  The variety of daffodil we dissected last time hasn't bloomed yet and I somehow also had tulips.  I don't know if the two extra days will make the difference or if the squirrels finally finished off all of the tulips.  

Today we reviewed the story of the flower, the parts of the flower, the parts of the pistil, and the parts of the stamin as well as types of venation, types of stems, and growth habits of stems.  I read definitions out in the field and the boys determined that we had a flower growing on a single, rigid stem on a plant with parallel leaf venation.  They determined that the flower was complete with an inferior ovary (below the corolla).  This type of daffodils are interesting because they have a "cup" in addition to individual petals. We noted the cup today, but did not get into types of petals.

Tomorrow we are going to do this again.  I demonstrated today.  I demonstrated how to cut the flower, dissect the parts and label them. Tomorrow the boys will be in the driver's seat and will each choose and dissect their own flower.

I planted these en masse so we were able to observe all of the daffodil flowers facing east early this morning and facing south late this evening following the sun.

The boys and I had a meeting today and decided that this spring, summer, and fall we are going to dissect and examine all of the interesting plants we find in our yard and accessible parts of our neighborhood.  The dissection trays are going to see a lot of action.  The boys were so very very excited to find all the eggs in the ovary and wanted to go plant them right away.  I explained that the pollen hadn't been transferred by an insect and traveled down the pistil to be fertilized yet because it was so early.  I told them that we could do this again later this summer and we might find something different inside the ovary.  They are excited to examine seeds and roots when we plant and harvest our garden again.  

I also told them that they were going to have to be detectives.  Some flowers are complete and some are incomplete.  We are going to find both and they are going to have to tell me what the incomplete flowers are missing.  Me Too literally quivered at the thought of this responsibility.  They also have a mission to find what types of things we do NOT in our garden so that we can, if at all possible, plant some for next year.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is a ton of botany. The last time when we dissected, I was planning to have the kids label the parts, but they were more interested in exploring and dissecting than in any nomenclature. So, I think we'll have to dissect again and maybe have a few labels on hand in case we are able to get to that.

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