Friday, July 14, 2017

Seedless Vascular Plants

Lesson 11 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany curriculum by Jeannie Fulbright is all about "Seedless Vascular Plants."  The focus is the most abundant of these plants, the fern.
 We used the Junior Botany Notebooking Journal to record all that we had learned in Lesson 11 (and every other lesson, too).  We highly recommend purchasing this add-on to go with the text.  Maggie pulls out her old journals from past texts and is so proud of all the work she put into them.
We read about these particular vascular plants in the lesson, discovering that instead of producing seeds, they produce sporangia (spore containers).  We also learned about the anatomy of fronds (to include the rachis, pinnae, and sori), and the life cycle of a fern (reading about the prothallus, rhizoids, antheridia, and archegonia).  There was a lot of great vocabulary in this lesson!  We continued our reading to learn about fiddleheads, other methods of reproduction, and different types of ferns.  Meanwhile, we were recording this great information in our notebooking journal.
 After learning about fiddleheads, we read Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman ...
... then watched a time lapse video of a fern unfurling at (below).
We recorded the life cycle in our journal (page 180), as well as pictures of some different kinds of ferns on page 181.  (I just love her drawings!)
We love the fun minibooks that come with every lesson, too.
After a walk with Daddy, Mags brought in some young fern fronds she found.  These are just developing their sori.
 To complete the "Fern Spores" activity outlined on page 150 of the text, we used an old frond I had been saving in a jar in our classroom just for this lesson.  The sori on it were well developed.  For the activity, we placed the frond, sori-side down, onto a paper towel.  Then, we placed both inside the pages of a heavy book.  This stayed closed tightly overnight.
 The next day, we removed both the paper towel and frond from the book and, with a magnifying glass, investigated all the fine, powdery grains the sporangia left behind.
 Can you see those fine, orange-colored grains?  Those are individual spores!  Each one has the potential to grow into a whole new fern!  Neat!
We continued to document our studies into our journal.
Maggie brought in a few more frond finds for our next project!
 These are still underdeveloped, too, but they'll work!
 It was time for the "Fern Transfers" activity, also outlined on page 150 of the text.  Here is Mags, painting her fronds with some fresh, green paint.
 After painting each, she pressed them onto black cardstock.
We added it to our journal opposite the Scripture "Copywork" page.
We have only ONE MORE lesson in this text, Lesson 12, "Nonvascular Plants."  I can't believe it!  This curriculum has flown!  We've had so much fun.  Check back with us next week for our very last post for Botany!

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