Activity Overview

Grades: 1st-3rd
Time: 30-40 minutes
Adult support needed? Youth will need permission or supervision as they observe/draw a plant outside.

Let’s get to know local plants! Local plants, especially native plants, play an important role in helping to protect our local environment, attract pollinators, and of course make our community beautiful. Youth will:

  1. Observe and draw a plant they find in their backyard or neighborhood
  2. Observe the differences between a younger and older yarrow plant.
  3. Go on an interactive virtual tour to learn more about native plants calling the San Lorenzo River home
  4. Take action: choose one activity to help protect plants in their community. 

Virtual Activity Guide

Join CWC staff as they guide youth through the activity. Youth are taken step by step through the activity. You may choose to use the Virtual Activity Guide instead of the Activity Guide PDF as all the same information is provided in this Virtual Activity Guide.

This activity supports the following Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 1-LS3-1. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.

Materials Needed:

  • Worksheet PDF: Get to Know Your Local Plants (you can use online or printed out)
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Any plant you find in your backyard or neighborhood. 


1. View or print the worksheet. No printer? No problem! View the worksheet online and grab blank paper to follow along.

2. Find a plant in your backyard or neighborhood to draw. Find a safe place for you to sit and get to know your plant. 

3. Draw your plant! Grab a piece of paper and pencil. Look closely at your plant and then draw the plant. Make sure to label the leaves, stems, roots, flowers, bark, insects on or by the plant. If you want to learn how to draw a plant, watch this video by Arts for Kids Hub. 

4. Share what you notice about your plant. 

5. Look at pictures of a younger and older yarrow plant to notice what they have is different and what is the same. 

6. Watch the Coastal Watershed Council’s Interactive Virtual Tour: Native Plants of the San Lorenzo River to learn more about native plants that call the San Lorenzo River home. 

7. Help protect your local plants by choosing to help water plants in your neighborhood or learn more about the life cycle of a plant. 

Thank you to the City of Santa CruzCity of CapitolaSanta Cruz County and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for supporting the Coastal Watershed Council’s Environmental Education programs.

To all of the Watershed Rangers students, teachers and program partners, although we will not be able to see you in classrooms, field trips and after school programs right now, we hope to provide you and your loved ones with online resources and activities during this time. We know that parents, teacher and lifelong learners are seeking ways to stay engaged and active, and we’re going to be working to bring activities to you through the Coastal Watershed Council blog. Please share these resources and activities with friends, neighbors and parents groups and stay tuned for more.

Additional resources:

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