Students will observe wildflowers while learning to identify the main parts of a flower.
Long ago, during the the age of the dinosaurs, there were no flowering plants. Conifers, mosses, ferns, and other primitive species of plants dominated the flora of that time. After the great extinction which ended the reign of the dinosaurs and ushered in the age of the mammals, flowers finally began to appear on the landscape. Today, flowers abound and many different types can be found at Great Sand Dunes during the spring, summer, and early fall.
Explore Great Sand Dunes' web page on plants for more on the many flowering plants of the park and preserve.
My Flower worksheet (.pdf), pencils, clipboards
Take the class on a flower hunt during late spring, summer, or early fall. Allow each student to find a wildflower in a designated area. Remind students that they are not to pick any flowers, just observe. Pass out the My Flower worksheet, which includes reference information about the parts of flowers. Have students draw the flower they chose and answer the questions about it.
Once each student has finished, collect the worksheets and redistribute them to the class making sure no one has their own paper. Have students try to find the flower on the paper they were given. Remember to set clear boundaries at the beginning of the activity.