Plants Around a Building

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In this outdoor activity, learners discover how the environment around a building affects the growth of plants. Learners observe patterns of plant growth such as size, thickness, weeds, and damage to plants by humans, then share their observations verbally and combine all their observations on a large outline map. The activity can be extended or adapted for higher grades by assigning each learner or team to look for specific aspects affecting plant growth, such as soil composition, moisture, and how location and design of the building affect growth patterns. (More quantitative measurement of environmental factors is available in the Terrestrial Hi-Lo Hunt activity from the same source.)

Quick Guide

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 online map of a building and the area around the building (per group)
  • 1 set of Action Cards (per group - included on PDF)
  • 1 set of crayons
  • 1 large outline map


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Ecology
      • Populations
      • Human Impact

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1980