Native Plant Scavenger hunt, iSpy or Bingo

Scavenger hunt, Bingo or iSpy game to hunt for and recognize native plants.
Science content
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Indigenous People's sustainable use of Living Things (K, 2, 3)
Biology: Classification of Living Things, Biodiversity (1, 3)
  • bingo sheet or iSpy sheets (see attachments) or printable native plant cards (from here)
  • optional: pencil each

Visit a forest, park or other area with native plants. Teach students the native plants (and animals) for the area.

Scavenger hunt:
Clip one copy of each card to its respective plant before the lesson.
At the lesson, give each student a card, ask them to find the same card pegged to a native plant.
They can stack the cards and peg them together, before getting another card, or helping others find theirs.

Give students bingo boards (each a little different from each other). Students call Bingo! when they have found all the plants on their sheet.

iSpy cards can be the same for each student, and the group can work together to spy each of the plants.

Optional discussion on how native plants are used by Indigenous cultures:
fern: young leaves for food (called fiddleheads - look for them in your food market)
red flowering currant: berries for food
salmonberry berries: for food
salal: berries for food, leaves for a cooking flavour
skunk cabbage: leaves for lining berry baskets
cattail: leaves woven into mats and seeds for pillows and wound dressings
moss: for bedding and pillows
iris: leaves braided into snares for catching large animal prey
fir tree: wood for fuel, and for making spear handles and spoons and other tools
cedar tree: wood for canoes, houses, totem poles, arrow shafts as well as fuel; cedar bark for baskets, rope, mats and woven with wool for clothes; roots for baskets and ropes.

Hand out Doulas fir cones to look at and retell Indigenous story about Douglas Fir cones:
Long, long ago there lived a mouse in the forest. The mouse was fearful all day and all night, for the sly fox always tried to catch him and eat up him. The mouse was very clever and was able to hide from the fox for a long, long time. But one day, he let his attention wander, and before he knew it, the fox was right there! The mouse was very scared and ran off as fast as he could. But he knew the fox was faster, so frantically he searched for a place to hide. He spied a cone that he thought was big enough to hide him, so he scurried inside. Well, he was hidden well enough that the fox couldn't find him, but really the cone was too small. And to this day, you can see the hind legs and the tail of the mouse sticking out from the Douglas-fir cone, where he is STILL hiding from the fox!
Students can find their own Douglas fir cones until time to go back to school.

Bog information:
Bogs are a valuable natural resource. They store water, which prevents flooding by slowing the water entering streams and rivers. They are a carbon sink, as the plants in them do not decay. They are natural filters.
Bogs have unique ecosystems - they are low oxygen and acidic - bog plants are adapted to live in this environment.

Grades taught
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 4
Gr 5