Downloadable Teaching Modules

If you cannot make it to the professional development classes at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, you can still download the materials to use in your classroom. Each course unit includes handouts, resources, vocabulary lists, suggested homework activities, labs and other activities for the classroom. The course units are as follows:

Unit I: School Gardens
Unit II: South Florida Plants and Ecosystems
Unit III: Ethnobotany

Unit IV: Basic Botany
Unit V: Plant Adaptations and Conservation
Unit VI. Tropical Botany

I. School Gardens

The following resources and activities provide information on how to plan, implement and maintain a school garden, as well as ideas and lesson plans to use the garden as a living laboratory.

Lecture resources/handouts:

School Garden Basics PPT
School Garden Design PPT
School Garden Resources                      
Native Plants for your Garden
Butterfly Plants for your Garden
Pine Rockland Plants for your Garden
Connect to Protect Network
Pizza Theme School Garden


Garden Math
Garden Poetry
Learning with Leaves
Life Cycles
Living with Plants
Parts of a Plant
Root Top Garden
Soil Scavenger Hunt

Biodiversity Plot 
Coordinate Grid Garden
Flower Press Activity
Foreign Language in the Garden
Health Nutrition Labels
Plant Survey Activity 
Pollen Movers
Seed Dispersal
Supermarket Botany
Using Your Pine Rockland School Garden

II. South Florida Plants                                         and Ecosystems

South Florida has a number of unusual ecosystems, some of which are only found here and nowhere else. These ecosystems create a mosaic of plant and animal communities, resulting in a diverse patchwork landscape that is unlike any other in the world.  The following resources will help you explore the ecosystems that make up South Florida’s unique tapestry of life.

Lecture resources/handouts:

Connect to Protect Network - link to website
Connect to Protect Network Brochure
Native Plants for your Garden
Plants and Ecosystems
Pinerockland ID Cards
South Florida Native Plant Uses
Where to Buy Pine Rockland Plants

Pinerockland ecosystem


Adaptations Treasure Hunt
Don't Let it Loose
Food Web
Investigating Ecosystems 
Investigating Seed Dispersal
Life Under a Log
Meet a Native
Native Plant Key
Pinerocklands Plant Adaptations
South Florida Survivor
Where Do You Live?


Invasive Species in South Florida
South Florida Plants and Ecosystems
The Restoration of Cape Florida

III. Ethnobotany - The Relationship                      Between People and Plants

We recommend this unit as the "starter" unit for anyone who wants to get their students interested in plants. This unit explores the different ways humans interact with and use plants - from food to medicine to building materials and more. This unit can open your students' minds to how important plants really are in our daily lives and will help them begin to think about plants as more than just those green things that grow everywhere!

Lecture resources/handouts:

Definition and Scope of Ethnobotany
Ethnobotany and Conservation
Ethnobotany Vocabulary
Most Useful and Economically Important Plant Families
Native Plant Use Guide
Pondering Plants
Resource List for Teachers
South Florida Native Plant Uses

The Beauty of Natural Plant Dyes


24 Hour Inventory
Ethnobotany Crossword Puzzle
Ethnobotany Case Studies
Ethnobotany of Fruits and Flowers
Ethnobotany Stakeholder Analysis
Interview Guide
Growing a Useful Plant
Extracts and Tinctures
Self-Guided Ethnobotany Activity
Native Plant Use Worksheets
Scent Trails
Ethnobotany Homework Exercises
South Florida Survivor
Testing Your Tincture
What Are We Eating

IV. Basic Botany

This unit explores the structure and function of a plant's "green machines" - its leaves, flowers, fruits and adaptations. It covers photosynthesis, transpiration, nutrient transport, plant ecology, classification and more. This unit will help your students begin to understand the amazing contribution that plants make to the global environment and why the planet could not function without them.

Lecture resources/handouts:

Anatomy and Physiology of Leaves
Basic Botany Handbook
Green Machines Vocabulary
Flower Vocabulary
Flower Power and Conservation
Flower Structure and Function
Fruit Classification
Fruit Key
The Birds and the Bees: Pollination and Dispersal
Leaf Classification
Monocot and Dicot Characteristics
Plant Kingdom Resource Kit
Green Machines Resources for Teachers


Fruit Classification Worksheet
Leaf Classification Activity
Lab: Dissecting Microscope Lab
Lab: Flower Dissection
Lab: Honey
Lab: Pollination
Lab: Transpiration Demos
Plant Kingdom Stations Activity
Pressing and Preserving Plant Specimens
Staining Techniques with Toluidine Blue
Suggested Homework Exercises
Additional Classroom Exercises and Suggested Resources

V. Plant Adaptations and Conservation

This unit looks at the unique ways that plants have adapted to a wide variety of environments, and explores the process of evolution.

Lecture resources/handouts:

Adaptations, Evolution and Conservation
Adaptations and Evolution Vocabulary
Evolutionary Concepts
Global Conservation Issues
What are Adaptations?


Adaptations Hunt Practice Worksheet
Adaptations Tram Tour Worksheet (for use during Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden tram tour)
Adaptations Treasure Hunt
Evolutionary Concepts Puzzle
What do you Wonder?
Other Homework or Classroom Exercises

VI. Tropical Botany

Lecture resources/handouts:

Tropical Botany Plant Links