Upper Elementary and Middle School students have been studying Botany in Science. Botany is a traditional part of Montessori study. Maria Montessori found that naming the many parts of plants was a perfect way to introduce children to scientific terminology and classification, while honoring their wonder and curiosity about the natural world. Botany at the Upper Elementary level builds on children’s previous experience and builds an understanding of how the various structures of plants are specialized for different functions, how plants are essential to human existence, and how plants adapt and respond to their their environment. We have been investigating the basic needs of plants and how they meet those needs, and are currently studying leaves and photosynthesis.
Middle School Botany takes these ideas a step further, focusing on plant physiology and the chemical processes that underlie plant growth and reproduction, as well as how the chemistry of plants is essential to food, medicine, and the engineering of materials. We have been studying the identification of plants and their evolutionary relationships, as well as looking at plant cell processes such as photosynthesis and respiration. (We are also enjoying figuring out how our new digital microscopes work, and hope to take more photos soon.)