Lab Girl

Lab Girl


Scientists engage in many different kinds of research. One way to learn about the variety of research being conducted by scientists is to read autobiographies, biographies, and memoirs about them. In this lesson, you'll get a chance to read a memoir. Begin your exploration by watching some videos about plants and scientist Hope Jahren.


Follw the link to watch this video on plant growth. [You'll need to use a browser on which Flash is enabled.] As you are watching, consider the following questions. Discuss your thoughts with a partner.

  • What do you wonder about after watching this clip?
  • Who do you think studies plants? What kinds of questions might they ask?
  • Where might someone study plants?
  • What can the study of plants be used for?
  • What do you think inspires people to choose a career in botany or another field in science?

Now, watch this short clip  featuring Hope Jahren introducing her book Lab Girl. After watching the clip, consider what her book might be about. Then, watch this interview with the author. Discuss these questions with a partner:

  • What does the interview tell you about the author?
  • Does the author's personal account of science pique your interest in reading the book? 
  • What is the difference between learning through a textbook and learning through hearing someone's personal story? 
  • Do you have a tree you remember from childhood?

Knowledge Check

Be prepared to discuss the following questions with the class:

  • Why is the study of plants important?
  • How do our personal histories influence our careers?
  • What questions do you have prior to reading Lab Girl?

Using the class discussion of this last question, write a short paragraph expressing what you expect to learn through your reading of Lab Girl.

This esheet is a part of the Lab Girl lesson.

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Esheet Details

Grades Project 2061 Benchmarks National Science Standards