Arts Integration Lesson Plan

Plant Advertisements: Best Plant in the Forest!

Lesson Summary: Students create a poster advertisement for a PNW plant.  They will need to provide evidence for the claim that their designated plant is the best in the forest! The poster will include a botanical sketch, and information from reference materials.   Their advertisement is meant to be eye-catching, informational, and creative. Optional: As part of a end-of-lesson gallery walk, students can vote on which advertisement (not their own) provided the most evidence for the claim that their plant was the best in the forest.


SWBAT build a base of knowledge around an E1T1 plant (i.e. geographic distribution, ethnobotanical uses, physical characteristics)

SWBAT use evidence to support their claim that their plant is the best in the forest.

Age Group: 4th-6th

Venue(s):  Anywhere with flat drawing surfaces (i.e. Labs, Art Studio, LS, in the forest with large clipboards)

Duration: ~ 60 minutes



Formative:  Students will describe their “Leaf in a Bag” plant to their partner at the start. They will make references and use descriptive language to observe their plant through their sense of touch.  Listening to these descriptions will help steer the conversation to identifying plant structures, and distinctions between evergreen and deciduous.

What are some of the cultural uses of plants (i.e. material for buildings, food, medicinal). Make a list to perhaps illustrate the role that plants play in our lives with the students.

Summative: Did their plant advertisement display their knowledge of that particular plant and were they able to do so in a convincing and creative way?


The lesson:

Materials Needed:  

  • Journals
  • Leaf in a Bag
  • Butcher Paper posters
  • Markers (make sure you have plenty of green markers)
  • E1T1 Ethnobotany Cards
  • PNW Plant Field Guides


Use the power of suspense during the Leaf in a Bag lesson. Begin with the “Leaf in a Bag” lesson by having the students partner up and describe their leaf so that their partner can make a simple botanical sketch in their journal. Because they are only using only their sense of touch they will need to use a lot of descriptive language to help paint a picture of their plant for their partner.  These sketches are meant to be imperfect!

There is more to learn about plants than just a name.  Plants can be very useful to humans.  Examples: Have you ever drank tea when you were sick?  Used Aloe Vera on a sun burn? Built anything using wood?  There are many ways that plants can be amazingly useful.

You will be making poster advertisements as to why their plant is the best in the forest.  You will need to convince your friends that your plant is the best, by creating an advertisement that is creative and convincing!


After taking their leaf out of the bag, have them draw the leaf again below their original sketch.  At this point, they should have some familiarity with their plant.  Students will then find their plant amongst the E1T1 cards and do some research on their plant using their E1T1 card and reference books.

They should find the following information and write it on the blank page next to their sketches:

  1.      Name of Plant
  2.      Where can their plant be found? (Geographic Distribution)
  3.      Physical Characteristics (What it looks like)
  4.      Cultural Uses (How it’s used)

Encourage the students to use both their E1T1 card and the PNW plant field guide to gather more information on why their plant is the best!

Next, be sure they have some solid ideas on what advertisements are used for, where advertisements are found, and who their audience is for the advertisement (in this case it’s one another).  Provide examples of advertisements in the discussion if needed — i.e. logos, fonts, descriptive language used in advertisements, etc.

Using a piece of butcher paper, roughly ½ the size of a normal poster board found at craft stores, have them create their plant advertisements.



Ask students to lay out their plant advertisements side by side along the floor and do a gallery walk.  What interesting things did they learn while researching their plants? What is something they learned from someone else’s plant? Was it difficult to find a lot of evidence for why their plant was the best in the forest?Liesel_ArtsIntegrationLesonPlan (1)


Transfer of Learning:

This lesson has the students using claims and evidence, and can continue to help students work with concepts of quality, quantity, and size of assumptions in their evidence.  When you provide evidence to convince someone of something, what kind of evidence is the most convincing? In what ways were they using quality evidence (i.e. using reference materials)?  Discuss some ways in which they can be critical of persuasive arguments when there is a lack of quality evidence.


You can begin or end this lesson with an E1T1 Ethnobotany lesson, or with a lesson on botanical sketching.  There are many connections you can make with the cultural uses of plants and the ways in which this information was passed down between generations.

There are more ways to get to know a plant besides knowing just the name.  Connecting students to their plant with their sense of touch provides an example of beginning an inquiry through noticing and wondering.  You could extend this part of the lesson during the outdoor evening program with having them each carrying a rock during the hike to later pick out at the end of the night.


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