Grouping Plants on a Garden Safari

Part of the "Garden Safari" Collection


Students will identify similarities and differences among plants as they use all their senses to describe characteristics.

Estimated Time

1 Hour

Setting Required

Inside or Outside


  • SKL2b. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants can be grouped according to their features.


  • Journals or 8.5×11 copy paper (1 per student)
  • Coloring supplies (enough for each student)


  1. With all students standing as a whole group, ask students how they could group the students in the class based on physical attributes. As suggestions are made, quickly group students accordingly. Groups may include gender, hair color, height, style of shoes, etc.
  2. Explain to students that they will be going on a safari to observe the plants in the outdoor habitat and to group them by their features. Remind students that when they go on a safari, they are observing the natural world around them, not taking it with them. They will record their observations and groupings in their journals by writing a label for each group and drawing pictures of the plants that fit into the group.
    Examples of groupings could include:
    plants with bark / plants without bark
    short plants / tall plants
    plants with smooth leaves / plants with serrated leaves
    leaves with a scent / leaves with no scent
  3. As students return from their safaris, choose students to share their groupings with the class.


Recommended Resources

Children’s Literature

  • Plant Secrets by Emily Goodman
  • Is It Living or Non-Living by Rebecca Rissman
  • What’s Alive? By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
  • Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
  • Is it Alive? By Marcia Freeman
  • Living and Non-Living by Angela Royston Living
  • Living and Non-Living by Carol K. Linden