Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nonvascular Plants

I can't believe we just finished our last lesson in Botany, Lesson 12 ("Nonvascular Plants") in Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany by Jeannie Fulbright!  (The last lesson in this text is actually Lesson 13, on "Nature Journaling," but we did that lesson first.  See our list of science posts using Apologia at  This is actually sad for both of us because we have had so much fun with Botany, but we are excited to start Fulbright's Zoology 3 in the fall!
 It was also our last lesson in our notebooking journal.  Having completed every lesson using this great resource, we now have a journal that is thick and full of Maggie's drawings and writings of her takeaways from her Botany learning.  We will cherish this treasure, our scrapbook of this Botany journey together.  I highly recommend you do not forego this part of the curriculum when you are considering your purchase of Apologia science books!
We started the lesson in the text reviewing the differences between vascular and nonvascular plants ("bryophytes").  Unlike vascular plants, because nonvascular plants don't have stems and roots, they are not able to grow very tall.  (This is because they absorb all the moisture they get, like paper towels.)  That is why bryophytes "are, in general, the smallest members of the plant kingdom."

However, like vascular plants, bryophytes still make their own food through photosynthesis.

Interestingly, we learned that mosses (the most common type of nonvascular plant) have the ability to desiccate, that is, to dry out for long periods of time without dying.  We also learned how nonvascular plants reproduce.

After our reading, Maggie colored the pages in her journal for this lesson.
On Day 2 of this lesson, we read about liverworts and lichens in our text, including how lichens are a great measure of air quality in an area.

We read more about lichens in Usborne's Mysteries & Marvels of Nature book, page 67 ("Plant Communities").
After our reading, we watched a fun video on lichens, called “Lichen: Two Living Things in One,”
 at (below).
After watching, I had her fill out a "Video Review" sheet for her journal (which I made on my computer).
We continued to record all we were learning in her journal.
(I just love her little illustrations.)
I found this cute, cartoon image online and decided to print it for her notebook, too.  (She got a giggle out of it!)
We were excited to complete the "Test Your Air with a Lichenometer" project outlined on pages 157-158 of the text.  For our lichenometer (as instructed), we used a wire coat hanger, bent like below, pieces of yarn, and tape.  When put together, Maggie said it looked like a snowshoe.  I have to agree!
Then we headed outdoors to find a tree decorated with lichens.  Maggie picked this one and we set our lichenometer against it to count how many squares were filled with lichens versus how many weren't.  (This would tell us how clean the air is in this area as the presence of lichens indicates good air quality.)  We measured this tree at 54%, better than other trees of the same kind in other areas, indicating the air quality was better here than there.  Neat!
We recorded our experiment on page 197 of our journal ...
 ... and completed the minibooks for this lesson (pages A55 and 198), completing our journal for this course.
So long, Botany!  You will be missed but revisited, I promise!  Next up?  Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day, also by Jeannie Fulbright.  We will start this course on September 5th and we are soooooo excited!  Stay tuned!

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