Activities and Lesson Plans

Homegrown Greenery

Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, June 2010

Cover-Hometown Greenery

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Suggested Topics: food webs, systems

Related 4th Grade TEKS

English Language Arts
4.11 D: Reading:  Comprehension, Expository Text
4.13 A: Reading Comprehension, Procedural Text
4.18 A: Writing:   Expository, Procedural Texts
4.24 A (i,ii,iii),C: Research:   Gathering Sources
4.27 A, B: Listening and Speaking:   Listening
4.28: Listening and Speaking:  Speaking
4.29: Listening and Speaking:  Teamwork
Social Studies
4.7 B: Geography: Ecoregions of Texas
4.13 B: Probability and Statistics: Solves Problems by Collecting, Organizing, Displaying, and Interpreting Sets of Data.
4.14 A: Underlying Processes and Mathematical Tools: Applies Math to Solve Problems Connected to Everyday Experiences and Activities In and Outside of School
4.15 A,B: Underlying Processes and Mathematical Tools: Communicates About Mathematics Using Informal Language
4.16 B: Underlying Processes and Mathematical Tools: Use Logical Reasoning.
4.1 A: Classroom and outdoor investigations practices
4.3 C: Critical thinking and scientific problem solving 
4.5 A: Parts Removed from Complex Systems
4.8 A: Adaptations increase survival of members of a species.
4.10 A: Organisms and environments – survival

Discussion Questions

  • Give an example of a native plant. What does it mean to be a "native" plant?
  • In the magazine, it says that "native plant life is vital to our way of life." What does "vital" mean? In what way are native plants vital? Do you agree with the author?
  • What role do plants play in a habitat? How does that affect people? Animals? Insects? Other plants?
  • Some plants are adapted for survival. Give an example of a plant adaptation.
  • What did your neighborhood look like 100 years ago? Two hundred years ago? Can you imagine or find out what it might have looked like several hundred years ago? How do you think people affected the plant life where you live?
  • How can people help plants and wildlife?


Project WILD

Interesting Links for Further Research


  • When Plants Attack Just because it's green, doesn't mean it's good. Like a science fiction menace, some common landscape plants are taking over.
  • Invasive Plants  Non-native plants are invading Caddo Lake in east Texas, threatening the health of native plants and wildlife. Texas Parks and Wildlife takes a look at what biologists and the local community are doing to fight giant salvinia and water hyacinth.
  • Hello Giant Salvinia, Goodbye Texas  Giant salvinia is an invasive plant that suffocates fish, chokes lakes and can double in size every 7 days. The giant salvinia monster stars in this public service announcement about how to stop it from spreading. Learn more at

On the TPWD web site:

  • Texas Junior Naturalists - Plants

 From the TPW Magazine Archives:

  • Growing Fish Food | June 2006 | TPW magazine ... Growing Fish Food. Establishing native plants in reservoirs feeds fish and keeps
    out invasive species. ... The native plants have another benefit as well. ...
  • Rio Reforestation | May 2009 | TPW magazine ... May 2009 Scout. Rio Reforestation. Volunteers use hardy native plants to
    replenish the Rio Grande Valley. By Eileen Mattei. "Bring ...
  • Texas Under Attack | | TPW magazine | April 2010 ... From the Rio Grande to the Canadian, the Sabine to the Pecos, non-native plants
    brought into the state by accident, good intentions or sheer ignorance have ...
  • [PDF] "Keep Texas Wild: Living Off the Land - Issue 3, November 2008" ... Native plants, like sotol and prickly pear, hide delicious food under spikes and thorns. Hunters brought home rabbits, wild turkey, deer and fish. ...