⁣Lesson Plan: Exploring the Exotic Tropical Jungle: Walking Tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden

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⁣Lesson Plan: Exploring the Exotic Tropical Jungle: Walking Tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden

Grade Level: 9-12

Objective: By the end of this lesson, students will gain a deeper understanding of the diverse plant life found in tropical jungles and the importance of tropical conservation through a walking tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden's tropical section. Students will develop their observation skills, critical thinking abilities, and knowledge of tropical ecosystems while exploring the lush and vibrant surroundings.

Common Core Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.3: Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.9-10.2: Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C: Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

- Access to the internet or library resources
- Paper and pencils
- Field notebooks or sheets for recording observations


1. Introduction (5 minutes):
- Begin the lesson by discussing the importance of tropical jungles, their biodiversity, and their role in global ecosystems.
- Show images or videos of the U.S. Botanic Garden's tropical section to capture students' interest and curiosity.

2. Research and Discussion (15 minutes):
- Instruct students to research and find information about tropical jungles and their significance for global biodiversity.
- Encourage students to explore topics such as the unique plant and animal species found in tropical jungles, the threats to their existence, and the importance of conservation efforts.
- Allow students to discuss their findings in small groups or pairs.

3. Walking Tour Preparation (15 minutes):
- Explain the concept of a walking tour and how it allows visitors to immerse themselves in the environment and observe the plants up close.
- Provide students with a map or guide to the U.S. Botanic Garden's tropical section.
- Instruct students to imagine themselves on a walking tour and ask them to identify plants or features they would like to observe and learn more about.

4. Walking Tour (60 minutes):
- Conduct the walking tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden's tropical section, either in person or virtually through online resources.
- Guide students through various sections of the tropical jungle, pointing out interesting plants, features, and adaptations.
- Encourage students to take notes and sketch or photograph the plants and features that catch their attention.

5. Reflective Writing and Discussion (10 minutes):
- After completing the walking tour, have students individually write a short reflection on their experience.
- Prompt students to reflect on what they've learned about tropical jungles, the importance of conservation, and the beauty and complexity of tropical plant life.
- Allow students to share their reflections with the class and engage in a group discussion on the significance of tropical conservation.

Common Core Labels Correlations:

Steeped in history, rich with tradition, the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and to earth's fragile ecosystems.More than 200 years ago, George Washington had a vision for the capital city of the United States that included a botanic garden that would demonstrate and promote the importance of plants to the young nation. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. Since 1934, it has been administered through the Architect of the Capitol.The Garden has been recognized as a museum and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. This accreditation is a widely recognized seal of approval that recognizes a museum's commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.

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