With Plant Hunters, you can take a virtual walk through the The New York Botanical Garden, exploring 66 plants from around the globe through photographs, videos, and interactive games. The resource takes you to a virtual Conservatory in which each "House" of the Conservatory features a different biome, perfectly designed for the plants that grow there. In each of the biomes, you can view a video featuring a Botanical Garden staff member who describes the work done there and relays interesting information about the plants.
Collect plants by clicking on the links in the individual Houses. For each plant, you can see images, maps, and read interesting information about how the plants reproduce and other topics. Clicking on the magnifying glass will provide a close-up of the images, allowing you to see interesting plant structures in greater detail.
Once you have "collected" the individual plants, complete some of these challenges, which can be accessed from the plant pages:
- Leaf Sorter
- Desert Plants and Water
- Plants We Eat
- Plants in Our Lives
- Plants and Evolution
- Plants and Pollinators
- Plant Biomes
A scorecard keeps track of the challenges that you have accomplished.
This resource can be used to reinforce important ideas covered by a wide variety of learning goals, such as the diversity of living things and the variety of ecosystems in which plants live. Students can learn about the relationships of organisms within these ecosystems and how plants have adapted to the varying conditions. Students also can learn about how humans interact with plants, including the work that scientists do in studying plants. Other interesting connections include examples of patterns in nature and various ways in which plants can be classified.
Some questions that you can discuss with the class after students have explored this resource include:
- What can we learn from a conservatory?
- What are the major differences that you found in the different habitats?
- What are the basic needs of plants?
- What are some of the different ways in which plants reproduce?
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