Institute of Human Origins - March 2024


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Our Human-Plant Connection

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Alisha Goyco Alisha Goyco 1390 Points

This article is quite interesting. It touches on the subject of 'plant blindness' and how teachers can do something to change it. Humans often fail to realize the importance of the plants around them or even notice that they are there. One of the greatest ways to change this is to keep plants an active part of the classroom in various ways year-round as opposed to focusing on them for only one or two lessons. I think younger students who still have much enthusiasm and curiosity would be most receptive to this and agree that this is something that should be done in the classroom.

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10275 Points

Hi Alsha--

Could you post a link to the article you reviewed? It sounds interesting. I would agree with having plants year-round in the classroom. Perhaps, depending on the age of the students, they could research the connections between house plants and indoor air quality. I suspect that most of what they'll find is based on info from a NASA study, summarized in this infographic

Another benefit would seem to be the aesthetics of the classroom. Caring for the plants could be rotated among students. My students also repurposed large jars into terraria.

Mary B

Katie Cassell Katie Cassell 690 Points


I completely support the idea of having plants all year round. First of all, I believe that it teaches students a sense of responsibility because taking careof plants and harvesting them takes a lot of time and effort. It also allows them to take pride in their work. I was recently in a 5th grade classroom that had a tower garden. They have grown different crops all year round including arugula, swiss chard, and spinach. As soon as their plants are ready to be harvested, they have a salad party to sample their work. The students get very excited and feel a sense of accomplishment. In addition, having plants all year round allows for many different learning opportunites. They could observe the effects of different fertilizers, additives, pesticides, the abundance or lack of light each plant needs, and  the amount of water the plant receives. The plants could also be related to math by measuring the height of the plants, the number of buds, the number of flowers, the length of the leaves, etc. Students could create graphs representing their findings over time. Writing could also be incorporated through a journal where students write observations of the plant each day and include specific science terminology. There are so many benefits to having plants year round!

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92369 Points

Excellent points, Katie! Continuing to care for classroom plants, pets, or other ongoing experiments, develops a deeper understanding for students. They can come up with more complex questions and try out experiments that satisfy their own curiousity. Those types of opportunities are scarce unless teachers encourage more long term projects in their classrooms. 

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