The Foundations of Science: Plants (Textbook)

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“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”

—Job 38:4

The Foundations of Science introduces children to the wonders of the natural world in light of God’s providential care over creation.

Too often we hear messages that science is in conflict with faith, but Pope St. John Paul II wrote that faith and science “each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.” Foundations seeks to spawn this flourishing in the hearts and minds of young readers, guiding them into a world that will delight their imaginations and inspire awe in the awesome power of God.

This eight-part series covers an extensive scope of scientific studies, from animals and plants, to the galaxies of outer space and the depths of the ocean, to cells and organisms, to the curiosities of chemistry and the marvels of our planet. Still more, it reveals the intricate order found beneath the surface of creation and chronicles many of the Church’s contributions to science throughout history.

Plants: Wonders of Nature explores the incredible diversity of the plant kingdom and all the ways plants help sustain life on earth. Children will discover what kinds of plants thrive in different habitats, how the fascinating phenomenon of photosynthesis works, and all the many ways plants help us, from the crops that we eat, to the air that we breathe, to the enjoyment they bring through gardens and nature hikes.  

Did you know . . .

  • there are around 375,000 species of plants described on earth, and likely even more we haven’t even discovered yet?
  • a pigment called chlorophyll gives plants their green color? When light hits a plant’s chloroplasts (where the chlorophyll is contained), they absorb most of the light but reflect the green light, which our eyes detect as a green color.
  • in the Kalahari Desert, there is a plant called the Shepherd plant whose roots can go over two hundred feet deep into the ground?
  • a bristlecone pine tree in eastern California, nicknamed Methuselah, is almost five thousand years old?
  • more than a third of the earth’s total land area is covered with grass species?
  • some giant kelp can grow one hundred feet up from the ocean floor?
  • when we eat carrots, we are actually eating a root?
  • plants like corn can be used in the production of biofuels to help us run our cars?

In addition, children will also learn about the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’s Parable of the Sower, and St. Patrick’s use of the clover to explain the Trinity, as well as be introduced to Catholics who made great contributions in the arena of science.

Take a journey back to when God laid the foundation of the world with this groundbreaking science curriculum! 

Timothy Polnaszek, PhD
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1 Review

  • 5
    The importance of the rose

    Posted by Charlie S. on May 24th 2023

    Plants: Wonders of Nature is a Catholic homeschool botany textbook for grade school students published by TAN Books. The author, Timothy Polnaszek is a biology teacher and he has done an excellent in writing a short, clear botany textbook for grade school students that is fascinating and educational. What is most striking about this textbook is how it is beautifully illustrated with pictures that show just how beautiful and amazing plants really are. This textbook rightly points out how important plants are, since they provide us with food, fuel, oxygen, medicine, building materials, shade in the summer, and beautiful scenery. Not only that, some plants help filter toxic chemicals from the environment, such as certain moss species that absorb harmful chemicals like lead or arsenic. Timothy Polnaszek points out that flowers arent just pretty. All fruits come out of flowers and they all contain seeds. Plants are everywhere, and reading this book will help you to truly understand and appreciate them.

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