A few months ago, I was introduced to these intricate flowers. My class was on a hike around our school’s acreage, studying eucalyptus trees, when one of my students disappeared for a second behind some trees. She emerged with a striking purple daisy-like flower.
My class clustered around her, and she ended up picking one for each student. They put the purple beauties in their hair or on their clothes. My principal saw the flowers and wrote the Latin word osteospermum on our whiteboard.
Using our momentum, we started a unit on osteospermums. First, I began studying them and learning about their structure, color, and how they grow. The following week my students and I began studying them together.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I am always taking pictures on my Nikon. This time was no different. The pictures gradually turned into a non-fiction book, a gallery walk, points of conversation, references to draw in our science journals, and more.
Do these flowers grow near you? Maybe you’re as lucky as I was, and they thrive on your campus. Could you collect them for your students to study? You can use this nonfiction reader to bring nature into your classroom even if you don’t have osteospermum nearby. Open the world of botany to your students with these complex, yet prolific, flowers.