Project Botany: Native Plant Curriculum

Project Botany:  a place-based approach to native plant education. 

Project Botany provides:

  • Regionally-based, high quality curricula for grades 9-12
  • Educational support for educators

The goal of this curriculum series is to introduce students to the wondrous biodiversity of flora, and the connections between plants and their ecosystems. These curricula are designed specifically for the native plants of each region and uses the concept of ecoregions to build a sense of place. 


Curriculum Guiding Principles

Lessons build on the learning needs of the students as well as the resources of local communities.

  • Place-based:  The local community is the starting point for teaching concepts in science and culture; students learn about where they live
  • Hands-on: Students actively use all of their senses to explore nature, stewardship, and science
  • Inquiry-based: Students learn science by asking and answering questions as a guide to discovering the world around them
  • Experiential: Students don’t just learn, they DO
  • Service-learning: Learning activities directly benefit community, motivating students by giving extrinsic value to their work
  • Aligned with education standards
  • Fosters community partnerships: Students forge relationships with peers and professionals by taking part in their community
  • Interdisciplinary: Curriculum pieces integrate across disciplines teaching about native plants through science, math, social studies, art, and literacy
  • Developed within the framework of the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) Guidelines for Excellence: Fairness and accuracy, depth, emphasis on skills building, action orientation, instructional soundness, and usability

These lessons encourage students to study what is outside their door and to become informed and active citizens in local natural area issues and decisions in their future.  All lessons start with a “Teacher Page,” which gives background information and essential skills.  “Student pages,” assist participants in developing their literacy proficiency and becoming active in service-learning and community projects.   


Available Curricula for Download or Purchase:  

Oregon: "From Salmonberry to Sagebrush"

New Mexico: "From Ponderosa to Prickly Pear"

National Curriculum: "Project Botany: Exploring Native Plants of the United States"


Other Curricula: 6th Grade Wetlands & Estuaries Curriculum developed in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Available for free PDF download:

6th Grade Wetlands Curriculum Workbook

6th Grade Estuaries Curriculum Workbook




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