Botany I

Course Overview

Welcome to Grade 5 Botany I

“The plant world is the soul world of earth made visible. Plants cannot be separated from the earth like the hair cannot be separated from the head.” ~ Rudolf Steiner
To continue the study of the living earth the fifth graders begin with Botany, which is the study of the plant world. They begin first by observing the plant life around them to drawing their attention to the vegetation in other parts of the world. It is highly encouraged to go out into nature to view the plants we will be studying. It is also highly recommended that one does not remove anything from nature to observe it. Observation of the plant in relation to its environment cultivates reverence. This is not to say that one cannot pick a flower should s/he want to create a beautiful bouquet or make medicine! Botany for the 5th Grader will first be looked at as whole to part. The “part” part of Botany will be explored in Botany II, developing a respectful relationship with plants for our use. More on that later!

Here’s a list of the materials needed:
1 – 9 X 12 Portrait Main Lesson Book (onion skin recommended)
1 – Set of Block Crayons
2-3 – Colored pencils of choice (darker colors preferred)
1 – Ruler (optional)
1 – notebook or lined paper 1 – graphite pencil
1 – eraser
1 – pencil sharpener

Note: To purchase materials, see our recommended vendors under “Waldorf Home and School Supplies” on the Curriculum Overview page.

How to operate this block:
1. Choose an optimal space that is dedicated to work. For example, doing work at a desk versus sitting on a bed. Make sure the space is clear and has only the materials necessary for work. Limit outer distractions as much as possible.

2. Read the summary of each lesson for your own preview.

3. Play the video when your child or you are most awake and able to take in the lesson. This may vary from day to day. The advantage of having a video is that you can choose the best time to view it and you can pause and/or restart it if need be.  Each video will include an opening and closing verse, as well as a circle piece (song, dance, or poem). Students will learn the the piece by memory in just a few days into the lesson block.

4. Follow the instructions for bookwork.

5. The following day before viewing the next lesson, read the questions in the review section and answer each one accordingly. Review could come in a variety of ways. Firstly, we suggest having your child recapitulate from memory what s/he has learned to the best of her/his ability. You can view the questions and prompt your child if necessary. Another way to do it is to ask your child the questions directly. In a pinch, the questions can be printed out and your child could answer the questions as if it is a quiz. If your child or you cannot remember an answer, go back and play the previous lesson to answer the questions.

6. Start the cycle all over again!


Botany I - Week 1

Lesson 1: The Difference Between Plants, Animals and Rocks
Lesson 2: The Plant and the 4 Elements
Lesson 3: Parts of the Plant
Lesson 4: Parts of the Flowering Plant

Botany I - Week 2

Lesson 5: The Breathing Plant
Lesson 6: Algae and Seaweed
Lesson 7: Mushroom and Fungi
Lesson 8: Mosses, Ferns and Horsetails

Botany I - Week 3

Lesson 9: Monocotyledons
Lesson 10: Bulbs and Lilies
Lesson 11: Grasses and Grains
Lesson 12: Dicotyledons

Botany I - Week 4

Lesson 13: Rose and Berry Bushes
Lesson 14: Insects
Lesson 15: Trees
Lesson 16: Hydrological Cycle

Jacquelynn - Waldorf Middle School

Jacquelynn Kolenko


Waldorf education has been a passion of Jacquelynn’s for the past 20 years, both as a parent, and in her journey as a high school and classroom teacher in the private and public charter schools.