Plants can be used to teach children about climate and vegetation in different parts of the world, as well as about the cellular structure of different organisms. They can also be used to teach about the photosynthesis process.
Plants are an effective way to demonstrate the different types of climates around the world because their appearance is adapted to that environment. For example, a cactus is an effective plant to demonstrate the harshness of dry, desert climates. Deserts are characterized by their lack of water and lush vegetation. Cacti show how the organisms that live in the desert adapt to collect and store water. The needles on a cactus also show how it developed a defense mechanism to protect itself from animals looking for water or food.
Examining plants through a microscope shows how they have a different cellular structure than humans do. The hard cell walls and different cell compounds highlight how diverse life is on the planet. Students can look at the plants up close to see how the cellular structure also affects the way each plant grows and looks.
Plants are also essential for understanding photosynthesis. Studying photosynthesis itself is also an effective way to show students how different organisms create energy, and the way plants help to filter the Earth’s atmosphere.