Welcome to Plant Teachings for Growing Social-Emotional Skills
Plant Teachings is a Collaborative Project by GRuB and Northwest Indian Treatment Center Funding through Seattle Indian Health Board
This toolkit explores how plants can lead us in being healthy and resilient. It includes a book, plant teaching cards, movement videos, an activity guide, and infographics, and was developed through a partnership between GRuB, Squaxin Island Tribe’s Northwest Indian Treatment Center, and Seattle Indian Health Board. Learn more about the project team here.
The toolkit is intended for mental health workers, educators, and community members who are exploring behavioral health skills that are rooted in the land and Coast Salish culture. Resources can be integrated into many different settings including behavioral health programs, community health and wellness classes, K-12 social-emotional lessons, and outdoor education programs.
Goals of the toolkit include:
- Increasing individual and community resilience through building social-emotional skills including mindfulness, self-awareness, coping with stress, and building healthy relationships.
- Protecting and promote healthy plant communities through education, ethical harvesting, and ecological restoration.
- Increasing a sense of community, seasons, and place.
- Promoting the value and significance of Indigenous Science and Native ways of knowing, doing, and being, including intergenerational and experiential learning, the transmission of knowledge through stories, and recognizing and building reciprocal relationships.
Plant Teachings Book
This 97 page full-color book includes an overview on social-emotional skills; a chapter covering 22 Northwest regional plants with descriptions, cultural teachings, stories, ecological relationships, and recipes; and a chapter on making plant medicine with methods for harvesting, processing, and preparation.
Plant Teachings Cards
Each of the 23 cards in this deck features a common Pacific Northwest plant and a related social-emotional teaching, accompanied by personal reflection questions. Use these full-color, waterproof and washable cards (suitable for wilderness use) to learn, teach, and remember skills to practice during challenging times.
Movement can be a powerful way to promote physical health, become more mindful and self-aware, reduce stress, and connect with plants, places, and cultural teachings. These videos can be used in a classroom or home setting. Teachers are encouraged to adapt the movement activities and lead them in a way that best fits their students.
- Cottonwood with Chenoa Egawa. (11:09 minutes)
- Hawthorn: Courage with Chenoa Egawa. (7:39 minutes)
- Nettle: Build Inner Strength with Chenoa Egawa. (11:35 minutes)
- Plantain: Self-Soothe with Chenoa Egawa. (7:00 minutes)
- Willow: Flexibility with Chenoa Egawa. (15:48 minutes)
- Yarrow: Boundaries with Chenoa Egawa. (10:20 minutes)
- Native Berry Walk with Rachel Smart. (9:36 minutes)
Teacher Activity Guide
This guide offers additional insights and activities for teaching social emotional skills including mindfulness, self-awareness, coping with stress, and building healthy relationships. The guide also includes additional activities for each plant featured in the Plant Teachings book and cards. A slideshow features images of each of the plants.
Each of the plants in the toolkit has an accompanying infographic or poster that serves as a visual reminder of the plant and associated skill. These can be printed on 8.5x11 or 11x17 paper.
Preview some of our infographics by clicking the link below:
Accessing the Toolkit
In order to protect the plants and Native American cultural knowledge and stories featured in the toolkit, we ask that anyone using the materials read the Tend, Gather and Grow Teacher Guide, watch the Honoring Plants, Places and Cultural Traditions video, and take a multiple-choice quiz. Consider the plant information and stories featured in the toolkit as gifts, and the quiz as an opportunity to reflect on the generosity, intentionality, and purpose with which it is shared—a means of honoring the work.
For more information on the project, including trainings and adapting the resources to your program, email email@example.com.