How to create a herbarium? – tips for school lessons

Herbarium

Collecting, identifying, pressing and labeling plants – creating herbariums is a popular project for science and technology classes in both elementary and secondary schools. Biology lessons. Here you get tips for the design and templates to print out.

What is a herbarium?

A Herbarium or Herbarium (lat. herba: herb) is a Plant collection. The plants are pressed and fixed on a herbarium sheet. There you will also find information about the plant and the conditions of the find. Cover page and table of contents complete the herbarium.

Once you have told your students how many plants the herbarium should contain, what you expect in terms of content, and how much time they have to create it, they are ready to go: Here are questions and answers that are frequently asked about this project:

Why a herbarium?

While creating a herbarium, students learn about native plants. Flowers they may have barely noticed before, they now recognize and can proudly share their knowledge with family members.

Along the way, students learn scientific ways of working, such as making a collection or herbarizing plants.

When creating the herbarium, they have to work precisely and patiently to achieve a good result. Many students keep the herbarium for a long time. Making a herbarium is therefore a nice long-term project for elementary school or even 5. and 6. Classes at secondary schools.

How to design the cover page?

The herbarium needs a cover sheet on which the name of the owner of the herbarium is written and possibly the name of the owner of the herbarium. also the class.

Here we have created for you a Cover sheet to print designed for you to give to your students:

What to consider when collecting plants?

    • Only wild plants, no balcony or garden plants
    • Collect plants best in dry weather
    • Complete, intact plants (not just individual flowers, no plants with damaged parts)
    • Plants with typical appearance (if there are several specimens: one plant that is average in size and shape)
    • It is best to take and press two or three specimens and use the best result for the herbarium
    • Do not collect plants in nature reserves or biotopes
    • Do not collect plants of which there is only one specimen at the site

    To prevent the plant from wilting too quickly, put it in a sealable freezer bag. And as a reminder: note the date and place of discovery on a piece of paper and enclose it.

    How do the students determine the plants?

    The easiest way for plants be determined on the basis of their bloom. That’s why the ideal time for creating a herbarium is May and June, when especially many plants are in bloom.

    In class, you can discuss in advance the different types of plants (trees/shrubs, grasses, ferns, and herbaceous plants), the structure of plants and flowers, the different flower shapes, and how to use plants identification tools. The best-known book on this subject is the Kosmos nature guide "Was bluht denn da"?".

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