Plants may be used for decoration, erosion
prevention and climate control (wind and sun breaks) foods, beverages,
flavorings, medicines, fabrics, rope and other fibers, wood, rubber,
dyes, paper, and many other products. The original form of aspirin came
from willow bark. American Indians would make a tea from the bark for
fevers and pain. Even marijuana was originally introduced into this
country as a source of hemp for making ropes, cloth and sail.
Let the children
help you list some uses of plants. Set out the items listed on the
worksheet. Let the children guess whether the items come from plants or
not. Go over their guesses. On the worksheet only tea and bag, rope,
cotton ball, tread, toothpicks, chopstick, and paper come from plants.
In addition you might want to bring in other items made from plants
like foods, vanilla flavoring, cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee, cola, tea,
cotton shirt, linen napkin, rope, string, erasers, rubber balls, wood,
paper, bayberry candle, basket, mint chewing gum, rayon ball, aspirin,
bamboo chopsticks, or any other items. Ask students to guess whether these things also come
from plants, then discuss their answers.
You may want to read Corn is Maize or a similar book which shows
all the products
that the Indians created and used in the Americas.
If you have internet and want
to find more about how plants are useful in society you may want to
consult the following web site.
http://www.botany.org/ Web site of the
Botanical Society of America. Interesting links to plants in the news.