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Defense Mechanisms of Plants


Just how do plants protect themselves from herbivores and illnesses? You’ll be amazed at how many defense mechanisms plants have! From thorns and poisons to stinky smells and self-destruction, plants are prepared for battle.

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In Defense Mechanisms of Plants, learn all about the various ways plants protect themselves from hungry animals and diseases. Have ever thought of bark on a tree as armor before? Have you considered that some plants have weapons like swords? Did you know some plants can poison their enemies?

Be amazed at the types of mechanical and chemical defenses plants can possess. Not only do they protect themselves with defense mechanisms, sometimes they even protect other plants!

In eight meaty lessons, discover why plants need defense mechanisms and what the term “defense mechanisms” even means.

Learn how bark, leaves, and stems can act as weapons and even serve up some potent poison to animals and humans alike.

Understand signs of plant diseases and be amazed that some plants self-destruct (like a spy) in order to stop the spread of disease.

Discover whether symbiotic relationships between plants and animals help or hurt plants.

I know some of this sounds like it could be difficult for 1st-8th graders. But…presented in bite-sized portions with kid-friendly explanations, it’s all really very easy to learn and understand! The use of videos, books, and websites really help the big ideas become very doable for children.

Begin with these lessons indoors and see if your students don’t begin noticing plant defense mechanisms in the outdoor world later. It always happens – and it never gets old!

  • 31 pages
  • Digital curriculum
  • Appropriate for black and white printing
  • Printing is not necessary
  • Content suitable for charter schools

Frequently Asked Questions

Each Nature Study Made Easy guide contains eight meaty lessons. Each lesson includes introductory material to read with the children. Follow-up learning for each lesson is based on the five “E”s – Extract, Explain, Engage, Elaborate, and Explore.

Extract – Books and videos are suggested for learning more.

Explain – This is a nature journaling activity.

Engage – This is a hands-on activity.

Elaborate – This is a kid-friendly research project.

Explore – This is a nature walk prompt.

It’s easy to pick and choose from the five “E”s to make the study as in-depth as you wish.

They are written with 1st-8th graders in mind and can be used with multiple ages together.

They can be! The unique thing about these guides is the amount of learning that can occur indoors—even though children are focused on nature study topics. Many of the activity ideas are also conducive to group work.

No, they work well for all types of homeschoolers. Because they are so flexible yet provide plenty of learning options, they can be used for almost any homeschooling situation. For example, some families may want to spend a week’s worth of morning time working on one small part of a lesson. Others may decide to use the lesson material as a full science curriculum. While others may decide to use the curriculum for a full day of nature club learning. The options are endless, but sample scheduling ideas come with each guide.

It’s entirely up to you and how you use it. One guide can last an entire semester if you open it once a week and work through most of the suggested material and activities. If you do a small portion of one lesson daily each week, a guide will last eight weeks. If you choose to cover one lesson per day (that would be really hard), a guide will last you eight days.

No. Because they rely heavily on indoor learning, they can be used worldwide. If you use the nature walk prompts, most can still be used wherever you live.

No worries! You can use 95% of the curriculum without leaving the house. The only exception is the nature walk prompt provided with each lesson. Otherwise, the rest of the learning is indoors.

Yes! They are religion-neutral and don’t discuss creation or evolution.

You can always email a picture or story to me at Better yet, share pictures of your adventures on social media and tag me @ourjourneywestward!

In regards to the downloadable curriculum and freebies on Our Journey Westward:

When purchasing a downloadable product, you are purchasing a license to use the product, not the product itself. The license is not transferable.

Each download is meant for single family use. You may keep a copy of the e-file on personal devices and print the file for personal use.

Please Don’t:

  • Share or link to the e-file directly; link to the blog post or product page instead.

  • Alter the e-files in any way.

  • Sell, distribute, or give away the e-files in any way.

  • Host an e-file on your website or upload it to a shared website.

A teacher of a co-op or classroom may use an e-file with her students. She may keep a copy of the e-file on personal devices and print it in its entirety for her use. She may make multiple copies of student pages as necessary.

She may not share the e-file with other teachers, even if they are team teachers. Each teacher needs to purchase her own copy of the curriculum file.

Please Don’t:

  • Share or link to the e-file directly; link to the blog post or product page instead.

  • Alter the e-files in any way.

  • Sell, distribute, or give away the e-files in any way.

  • Host an e-file on your website or upload it to a shared website.

Some folks enjoy creating additional notebook pages, worksheets, charts, etc., to accompany the NaturExplorers studies and other Our Journey Westward publications. The pages you create must only be used with your children and may NOT be sold for profit or shared with others (online or otherwise) as free enhancements, go-alongs, or otherwise.

While Our Journey Westward is pleased you enjoy our products and wish to create derivative materials, doing so without authorization violates copyright law. In other words, it is considered theft of intellectual property rights. We trust that you will understand the importance of this and thank you for your cooperation.

If you wish to create derivative materials for sale or as freebies, please contact us to discuss possible permission.

If unsatisfied with a PDF product, your entire purchase price will gladly be refunded. We only ask that you please request a refund within two weeks of purchase and delete the file from your computer. Thank you for respecting these terms. Please contact us for a refund that meets these criteria.

The following curricula meet the requirements of charter schools to remain neutral on religion.

The following professional development materials remain neutral on religion.


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