Zen and Art of Sketching Seedless Non-vascular and Seedless Vascular Plants, with apologies to Robert Pirsig

Objective: Become familiar with the features of Bryophyta, Lycopodophyta, and Pteridophyta.

This laboratory may be preceded by a brief walk down to Agriculture to retrieve some Lycopodium and other specimens.

Students will work in one of five groups of three to four students each. Students will make labeled complete sketches of the plants that they observe.

There will be five work stations, each group will sketch at four of the five stations.

  1. Bryophyte station one: Sketching pleurocarpus and acrocarpus specimens
  2. Bryophyte station two: Sketching seta and moss blade cells
  3. Lycopodium station one: Sketching Lycopodium and sporangium
  4. Pteridophyta station one: Sketching fern one and sori
  5. Pteridophyta station two: Sketching fern two and either sori or gametophyte

At each station the two sketches will put on a single sheet of paper, use a half sheet of paper for each sketch.

At each station there will be some form of informational sheet on what you are looking at to help with labeling your diagram.

Do NOT put your group name or member names on the sketch sheets.

When a sketch is done, the sketch will be hung on the white board with tape in the appropriate work station column. Sketches must be complete, accurate, detailed, and properly labeled. The result should be a grid of paper five across and four high:






. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .


The order in which the groups will move through the workstations is given by the following table.

Time Activity Bryophyte 1 Bryophyte 2 Lycopodophyte 1 Pteridophyta 1 Pteridophyta 2
Start Sketch Chlorophyll a Xanthophyll Phycoerythrin Phycocyanin Chlorophyll b
0:20 Sketch Chlorophyll b Chlorophyll a Xanthophyll Phycoerythrin Phycocyanin
0:40 Sketch Phycocyanin Chlorophyll b Chlorophyll a Xanthophyll Phycoerythrin
0:60 Sketch Phycoerythrin Phycocyanin Chlorophyll b Chlorophyll a Xanthophyll
0:80 Evaluation Xanthophyll Phycoerythrin Phycocyanin Chlorophyll b Chlorophyll a

There are two sketches to be done at each station. At each station two people will sketch, the other two will assist. EVERYONE should look at the samples. Anything seen can appear on laboratory examinations later in the term. At the start and at 0:40 random drawing will determine the two sketchers for that station. At 0:20 and 0:60 the two people in the group who did not sketch at 0:00 and 0:40 will be the sketchers. If there are only three members in a group and a sketcher is drawn who is not a member of the group, the group of three can choose their second sketcher.

After each group has made four sketches (remember, no names on the sketches!) we will move to the evaluation phase.

During this phase the group assigned to evaluate the sketches from a single workstation will take the sketches down from the white board and examine the sketches. Note that the group doing the evaluation has no stake in the sketches: the evaluating group is evaluation the sketches for the workstation at which they did not work. This is also why there should be no names or other identifying marks on the sketches.

The group will assign points based on the following criteria:

Good quality sketch: 2
Good quality sketch: 2
Better quality sketch: 3
Best quality sketch of the four sketches for that workstation: 4

Thus one sketch will be given four points, one sketch will be given three points, two sketches will be given two points each.

Judge sketches on the accuracy of the drawing, comprehensibility, clarity, legibility, completeness of labeling, and the overall quality of the drawing.

After the evaluation phase, collect the sketches your group worked on (you will have to remember which ones you did on appearance alone!). Determine the total score your group attained. Total scores could conceivably vary from 8 to 16 points. Put your names (your human labels!) on the sketches and turn them in.

Notes:  This laboratory included a field trip to collect Lycopodophyta.  The lab took way too long: only two rotations were completed.  Sketching the lycopodophyta proved problematic.  This lab will need careful thought.  It just didn't work right and no one saw more than two specimens.  Most have yet to see indusia.  Maybe each group does one specimen and then presents their findings to the class with good diagrams.  We need more DISSECTING MICROSCOPES and EXTERNAL LAMPS!

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