Middle School Biologists @ Melbourne’s Beautiful Botanic Gardens

The Year 3/4 classes visited the Royal Botanic Gardens last week (thankfully it was the one gloriously sunny day in the middle of an otherwise wet, cold week). When I asked my Year 3 daughter what she thought they’d be doing on the excursion she went into great detail describing the scientific drawings they’d been practicing. And I had to say that I was a bit jealous because when I was at (high) school, one of my favourite things in biology were the species transects and quadrants we’d do on field-trips – in year 3/4 terms, it’s a ‘bug census’. However, whether you’re in Year 3/4 or 11/12, the principle is the same – a defined space, paper and pencil, magnifying glass and observant eyes!

I always enjoyed the exercise because I liked the sorting, taxonomy and list making. My daughter said that she was “…leaving the counting to someone else…” and instead was going to “…spend the day drawing bugs….”. Either way, it sounded like the best day.

Indi, Ishana and Emma from 3/4J tell us a bit more about the excursion –

bot-gardens-1On October 6th Year 3/4s went on an excursion to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

As scientists, we went exploring with a magnifying glass and a clipboard to find and record, using a table and diagrams, living things. We saw heaps of insects like butterflies, dragonflies, mosquitoes and bees, spiders in trees and slugs on leaves, birds flying by, worms in the dirt and beetles in the grass.

bot-gardens-3Two of the experts from the gardens, called Michael and Michelle held a tour for 3/4J around the gardens. We planted a bean seed in soil in a cup. We also harvested some veggies. We collected a pumpkin, a chilli, lettuce, celery, kale, cucumber, broccoli, mega mustard, mint, basil and we collected sugar cane all to bring back to school.

Overall, Year 3/4s had a great time and learnt many interesting facts. Did you know there are edible flowers? Did you know there is a beautiful orange flower called Bird of Paradise with a blue landing strip? When the bees come, they sit on the landing strip and it opens up and inside is the pollen and nectar? And did you know there is a tree whose only one leaf looks like a whole tree?

By Indi, Ishana and Emma


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