Friday, January 18, 2013

Flower Dissection

Ovary and ovules of a daffodil as seen through a 10x flash magnifier

We are working through Exploring Creation with Botany this year along with some library book and some additional observational activities.  Like the zoology books, this book has not disappointed.  It is incredibly in-depth for an elementary text, enough so that I've been comfortable using them through middle school.  (We're skipping the middle school texts because we've already covered most of their topics.)

Today's activity is a great example.  After reading about flowers, it was time to dissect a flower.  I headed to the store yesterday and bought one for each of us.  I needed a flower with visible stamen and pistils for the activity.  Daffodils were the best option from our local Safeway, so that's what we used.  After letting them open for a day, they were ready to dissect.

We started by looking at and carefully removing the sepal.  Then we removed each of the petals, making sure to get all of each petal off.  Once those were removed, we were able to look at the stamen with each of their parts, the filament and anther.  We paused here to look at a couple of germinating pollen slides under the microscope.  I also got some pollen off of one of our daffodil anthers, and we looked at that, too.  Back at the table, we removed the carpal and identified its parts.  Then we sliced the carpel in half to be able to look at the ovary and ovules.  The picture above shows the inside of the ovary and ovules under our 10x flash magnifier.  (We love our magnifier.  I can't find a link to the one we got on amazon, but this one at skygeek is the same thing.)  Each part got glued down to a sheet of heavy paper/light card stock and will be labeled once it dries.  Even the littles participated in this activity with help.

I really enjoy these types of activities (really looking forward to biology); they make science come to life.  

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