Learning About Taxonomy

The first lesson of the Exploring Creation with Botany is all about taxonomy. This seemed like a difficult concept for young children to understand, but fortunately a couple of pictures in the book spurred my kids on. My daughter set up a chart with the taxonomy of her closest. For example kingdom: shirts phylum: short-sleeve order: button-up. She had fun with this.

Taxonomy of Duplo blocks

Taxonomy of Duplo blocks

JD Boy classified G’tums’ Duplo blocks.

So what I thought would be quite a boring subject for my youngsters turned into quite a fun activity and even my three-year old enjoyed joining in. I have to say this gave me a good first impression of the Botany book. When something dry is turned into fun, my children giggle and I smile.

The next day after they learned the concept of taxonomy, they enjoyed learning about the first two terms: vascular and non-vascular. But they got a bit bogged down the following day when we hit angiosperm, gymnosperm, Anthophyta, Bryophyta, etc. Maybe I went too fast on that part. Maybe if we’d done one term per sitting/day and a nature walk to find that kind of plant, then maybe all would have been well. But we did four terms and then went for a nature walk to find them and they were getting confused which "phyta" was which. By the time we were done with this lesson, my daughter was hanging upside down on her chair saying "This is boring." Oh no, I hope I didn’t strike out.

The kids did enjoy finding the things that we had read about. Here are the things that they found. We’re only going to name the phylum, not the plant, since that is what we were studying.

Anthophyta: all flowering plants.




all cone producing plants.



I don’t know if that cone belonged to that tree. Zippy just thought they made a nice picture together.

Pteraphyta: Seedless vascular plants–ferns.



A shot of the spores on the fern (and my personal favorite shot of the day.)

Bryophyta: moss


We’ve been busy making entries in the Botany Notebooking Journal, while we’ve been studying.

Botany Notebooking Journal 1

Left is JD Boy’s dried leaf and his moss drawing. Right is Zippy’s drawings for angiosperm and gymnosperm.

Next we’re off to plant some seeds. I’ll keep you posted.

3 thoughts on “Learning About Taxonomy

  • June 30, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Hi Rhonda! First off, I just want to say again that I love your photos! You really have an eye for getting great picts. What kind of camera do you use? I'm still using an inexpensive point and shoot but hope to one day have something with a little more flexibility and precision.

    I have been curious about Apologia and have even considered using their curriculum as of late but just still undecided. My kids are 5, 8, and 10 so I want something that will work across the board with modifications of course.

    Thanks for the link to the What Moms say. We had seen it before and it's very popular with us, too funny.

    Have a wonderful week and blessings, Julie

  • June 30, 2009 at 10:34 am

    What beautiful pictures! We had a great time with botany a couple of years ago.

  • June 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    How cool. I am glad they had fun and learned. We love Apologia also and Botany is our summer project as well. We do is as part of a coop class and are half way through with the book. We are moving fast. We have learned so much. I much prefer the slower pace that you are going. They get so much more out of it. Thanks for sharing.



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