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Ethnobotany encourages us to consider relationships and objects using a different ‘lens’ or ‘point of view’ about the world than most of us are used to using. We are forced to see our natural surroundings with fresh eyes. Since as far back as is known, humans have been exploring and learning from their environment and passing on the knowledge they acquire to future generations through actions, words and deeds. By studying ethnobotany, the complex relationship between plants and humans, we can see how the people of particular regions and cultures have made use of the native plants found in their surroundings and how this knowledge has been handed down and adapted over many generations. Incorporating the content and ideas of ethnobotany in to classrooms can give teachers and students a new perspective from which to view history, science, mathematics and all of the content areas.

This course consists of three components:

  1. Ethnobotany Interactive Presentation. This presentation includes various types of assessments such as open ended questions and polls to apply gained knowledge, evaluate information, and create new teaching ideas.
  2. Four videos with accompanying quizzes. After you view each video, you will need to complete the respective quiz and pass with at least an 80% grade.
  3. Lesson plan submission. At the end of the module, you will create and submit a lesson plan. A lesson plan template is provided. To guide you in the lesson plan, there is an accompanying article on teaching ethnobotany through creative and critical thinking activities using habits of mind. This is meant to provide examples and a starting foundation for developing lessons and units that teach ethnobotany through higher levels of thinking, ‘analyze’, ‘adapt’ and ‘create’. A designated FIU representative will review your lesson plan and provide you with feedback via email.


Course Content

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Ethnobotany Interactive Presentation
A growing relationship between people and plants.
Plants that shaped the world
Plants that feed us
Fibers, Dyes and Wood
Lesson Plans