Exploring Creation With Botany
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Exploring Creation With Botany
Author: Jeannie K. Fulbright
Series: Young Explorer Series
Major Themes: Botany, Plants, Curriculum, Science
Synopsis: This beautiful, full-color hardcover science textbook is wonderful for teaching elementary-age students about plants.
For several years, we have been enjoying working through the textbooks in the Young Explorer Series from Apologia. Last year, I read Exploring Creation With Botany with three of my boys, ages 6-12. We learned a lot of fascinating things!
This book is divided into 13 lessons, each of which takes about two weeks to complete if you follow the schedule in the notebooking journal. We skipped the last lesson, Nature Journaling; we had missed so much time for one reason or another, and it was already summer, and we were were ready to leave on a three-week trip! I just decided we didn’t need to do that one.
Lesson 1 is an overview of Botany—what does the word mean? It is also an introduction to various types of plants. Lesson 2 discusses seeds in detail, and Lesson 3 covers flowers—but Lesson 4 is all about pollination. We found some facts in that lesson really amazing. Did you know that insects use ultraviolet light to find nectar in some flowers? And that flowers are designed specifically for the type of pollinators they need?
Lesson 5 teaches about fruits and how they are dispersed, while Lesson 6 describes all types of leaf shapes. We did a project for this lesson of collecting different kinds of leaves. Because it was midwinter when we did this lesson, there weren’t quite as many different kinds as if we had done it in the summer, but we still found a lot. In this region, the native trees are evergreen, even if they are broad-leaf, so we found a number of good tree leaves. We also found six or eight types of ferns on one hillside!
Lesson 7 discusses roots, and in Lesson 8 we moved on to stems. Lesson 9 talked about trees, and then in Lesson 10 we learned about gymnosperms—plants with naked seeds. Lessons 11 and 12 were particularly interesting to us because they were about ferns and mosses, which we have in abundance in our cold, rainforest-type climate. The way they reproduce was new to me, and incredibly fascinating!
As always, we used the notebooking journals that go along with the book. These workbooks really help me keep us moving forward and organized. There are a variety of activities for each lesson. While we are reading the text for several days at the beginning of a lesson, we take notes about what we learn. Then, there are review questions and a vocabulary section, and then you get to make a mini-book to fill in with things you remember from the lesson. The 12- and 8-year-olds used the notebooking journal for slightly older children, and the 6-year-old used the Junior one, which has larger lines for writing and coloring pictures with each lesson.
Exploring Creation With Botany is a great introduction to botany! Children (and their mother) will learn a lot by working through it, and it is written in a very interesting way. We love the way God is glorified all the way through. You won’t regret using this science curriculum. And, by the way, I would recommend this book for Kindergarten through 7th or 8th grade. Just adjust what you do to the ages you’re using it for.