Flower Families


Understanding how to identify flower families opens up a new world of observation in nature study. You’ll love how easy it is to teach these identification and comparison skills in this fun curriculum! 

Did you know that flowers have families? It might sound strange, but it’s true! In fact, there are more than 400 flower families in the world! Kind of like you and I are related to other people, flowering plants are related to other plants.

At first glance, you might not think that sunflowers and dandelions have a lot in common, but a closer look will reveal plenty of similarities. Those similarities are your first clue that sunflowers and dandelions just might be related. Surprisingly, sunflowers and dandelions are part of a family that includes more than 32,000 species! 

When I first learned about flower families, it opened up an entirely new world of nature study to me. Where each stunning flower had once been a singular beauty to behold, I now had fresh eyes to notice even more details. Low and behold, I found myself able to use that keen eye to compare flowers and soon could pretty easily determine if one type of flower was in the same family as another. It’s so much fun to have that knowledge (and it’s a great higher-order thinking skill to make those comparisons)!

In this exciting study, your children will learn to look at flowers – and all the other parts of flowering plants – with a discerning eye. This type of observation will help them to see intricate details (that may go unnoticed otherwise) and make connections between types of plants. The scrupulous observation will help your children understand the entire plant life cycle, too.

This multi-age curriculum for 1st-8th graders uses a wide array of media and experiences to teach students about the following topics:

  • plant classification (taxonomy)
  • the reason for a flower
  • parts of a flower
  • leaf structure and arrangement
  • herbaceous vs. woody plants
  • monocots vs. dicots
  • aster family
  • mint family
  • parsley family
  • mustard family
  • rose family

You’ll notice that, out of more than 400, only five flower families are discussed. These five families include many, many of the most common plants, so your students should be familiar with many of them already. Additionally, children who are interested in learning about other flower families will be well-equipped to discover more on their own.

Flower Families is part of the Nature Study Made Easy curriculum series, which means you don’t have to take even one nature walk outdoors if you don’t want to. Learning deep observation and comparison skills to classify flower families is certainly possible without nature walks. However, be warned that the newfound knowledge may just have your children begging to go outside. 🙂

  • 39 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 cindy@ourjourneywestward.com. 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.

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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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