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Plants and growth
What are plants?
Plants are living things that grow from the soil and turn light from the Sun into food. Plants can be big or small, from giant trees to tiny patches of moss.
Plants use a process called photosynthesis to turn sunlight into food in their leaves. They can then use this food to grow. To help them do this, they also need water and nutrients that they take from the soil with their roots, and carbon dioxide that they absorb from the air.
Top 10 facts
- Plants turn light from the Sun into food that they need to grow.
- Plants also need water and nutrients from the soil , and carbon dioxide from the air .
- Animals can eat plants so that they can use the food the plants created to grow too. Animals can’t turn energy from the sun into food so they have to get it by eating plants or by eating other animals.
- The biggest type of plant on earth is a tree called the giant redwood. Some of these trees are as tall as a 15-storey building, and up to 3,500 years old.
- Most plants reproduce by creating seeds using pollen from other plants of the same type.
- Plants use flowers to attract insects to carry pollen from one plant to the next.
- Flowers contain a sugary liquid called ‘nectar’ that the insects eat and while they are in the flower, they get pollen on them that they carry to the next flower they go to.
- Some plants spread their seeds by letting them float on the wind, other plants encourage animals to eat them and some plants just drop them on the ground.
- Not all plants get all their energy from sunlight. The Venus flytrap and pitcher plants trap and eat insects!
- Some people are allergic to pollen. All the pollen in the air in the spring makes them sneeze. This is called ‘hayfever’.
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Did you know?
- Plants need light to grow. If you put one plant on a windowsill in the sunlight, and one plant in a dark cupboard, the plant in the sunlight will be green and healthy and the plant in the cupboard will start to die.
- Brightly coloured flowers look very pretty to us, but that’s not why plants grow them. The bright colours and patterns on the flower petals are very attractive to insects . The insects come to the flowers to drink nectar, and they carry pollen from one plant to the next.
- When a plant has been pollinated, it creates a seed (or lots of seeds). These seeds will make the next generation of plants. A seed contains the start of a new plant and some food to help it grow until it’s big enough to get food on its own.
- When a seed sprouts and starts to grow, it is called ‘germination’. You can see germination in action by taking some seeds and putting them on a damp piece of kitchen towel in a dark cupboard. This makes the seed think it’s in some moist soil, and it will start to grow after a few days.
- Lots of types of animal only eat plants. They are called ‘herbivores’.
- The huge variety of fruit and vegetables that you find in the supermarket doesn’t just turn up there by chance. They have to be carefully grown and looked after. People who grow plants for people to eat are called farmers.
Can you spot all these images in the gallery?
- A man sitting at the base of a giant redwood tree (this is the third largest redwood tree in the world) (Credit: Mdvaden via Wikimedia)
- A honey bee extracting nectar
- A hummingbird drinking nectar from a flower
- Looking up at a giant redwood tree
- Lots of different kinds of fruits. All of these contain seeds
- Lavender growing in a field
- A sundew swamp plant
Plants often go to a lot of trouble to attract animals that will help them pollinate their flowers or spread their seeds. Some flowers are shaped so that only certain kinds of insects or birds are able to get into the flower to collect the nectar.
Sunflowers grow into tall flowers very quickly. If you plant sunflowers in different places in the garden – some in shady corners, some in sunny spots – you can see which ones grow the fastest by measuring them every day.
Animals eat plants to get the food that they need to grow because only plants can convert energy from the Sun into food. Even animals like lions and tigers that only eat meat rely on plants for their food because the animals that the lions and tigers eat get their food from plants. This is called the food chain .
Insects aren’t the only type of creatures that plants use to help with pollination. Some small birds like the hummingbird or small bats are involved in the pollination process too.
When a flower has been pollinated, seeds will develop in the ovaries at the bottom of the flower. These seeds will grow into plants of the same species and the plant will use animals, wind or an explosive seed pod to spread them around.
Some seeds are very light, like the seeds from a dandelion, and plants use the wind to carry these long distances. Other seeds grow in pods like peas – when these pods dry out, the pod will burst and fire the seeds away from the plant.
Many plants use animals to spread their seeds , and they can do this in different ways. Some seeds have hooks on them so that they catch on fur or skin, and the animal carries them a long way before the seed falls off. Some seeds develop into fruits – this is when the flesh of the ovary that the seed is in grows into something that animals like to eat (like tomatoes, cherries or apples) – the animals eat the fruit and then either spit out the seeds or they come out in their poo.
Carnivorous plants are plants that also eat meat. They use sticky pads or slippery tubes to trap animals (mostly insects) inside them and then they dissolve them and eat them. Venus flytraps and pitcher plants are examples of these.
Some plants live for a very short amount of time before they flower and spread their seeds. Many types of plant that we like to eat (like tomatoes or cucumbers) only live for one year and die in the winter. Other plants can live for several years and some plants like trees can live for hundreds, or even thousands of years!
Words to know:
Bulb – a form some plants take when they are dormant; some plants like daffodils or onions survive the winter as a bulb under the soil, and grow new stalks and leaves in the spring Carpel – the female reproductive parts of a flower; it receives pollen from other plants and protects seeds while they develop Deciduous – deciduous trees are ones that shed their leaves in winter; leaves on these trees are normally wide and flat Evergreen – evergreen trees (also called conifers) are ones that keep their leaves all year around; they often have leaves shaped like needles Flower – a flower contains the reproductive parts of a plant; they are often brightly coloured to attract insects Fruit – flesh surrounding a seed or seeds that makes it attractive for animals to eat them Germination – the process of a seed starting to grow to create a new plant Leaves – plants have these on their branches or stem, and normally use them to make food from sunlight; this is called photosynthesis. Ovary – a chamber at the base of the carpel; this contains ovules that are fertilised by pollen to create seeds Nectar – a sugary liquid that is found in many flowers; nectar attracts insects to drink it and encourages them to travel from flower to flower spreading pollen Petal – special leaves that are part of a flower. They are often brightly coloured to attract insects Photosynthesis – the process plants use to make food from sunlight; it also needs carbon dioxide from the air, and water from the soil Pollen – pollen is needed to create seeds to grow new plants; sometimes pollen is carried on the wind, and sometimes it is carried from plant to plant by insects Seed – seeds are created using pollen from other plants; they are a new plant and normally need some food to help it start to grow Stalk/stem – the central part of the plant that all the leaves and branches connect to; in trees, this is called the trunk Stamen – the male reproductive parts of the flower; they are covered in pollen that either rubs off on passing insects or is blown away by the wind Stigma – this is at the top of the carpel; its job is to catch pollen that is floating on the wind or is on the back of an insect that has come to the flower Style – a tube in the centre of the carpel to take pollen to the ovary Tree – large plants that live a long time, have a very tough, woody stem called a trunk, and normally have lots and lots of leaves and a large number of branches Tuber – part of the stem or root used to store food by the plant; potatoes and carrots are tubers Vegetable – bits of plant we eat that aren’t fruits; most vegetables are the root, stem or leaves of the plant
Just for fun...
- Learn about plants and play games
- Take a walk through a virtual forest
- Plant specimens in the best possible environment for them
- Find out where the plant ingredients for some of your favourite foods came from
- Investigate the mysteries of seeds and soil with Detective Le Plant
- Take a virtual trip to the UK's most famous garden, the Blue Peter Garden
- Learn to identify autumn leaves
- Complete an online quiz about seed dispersal
Best children's books about plants and growth
Find out more:
- A kids' guide to plants from DKfindout!
- Read about plant life cycles and find out what a plant needs to grow
- Look at an interactive guide to Scottish woodlands (Select non-flash)
- Learn about the biology of plants
- Use an interactive simulation to learn how tree ring patterns tell us about past climate conditions
- Information about backyard plants
- Discover how plants deal with dry days
- Find out more about photosynthesis
- Why leaves change colour in the autumn
- Watch videos for kids about the parts of a plant , what plants need to grow and why plants need water and light
- Watch BBC animation clips about plants
- Revise the the life cycle of plants from seed to dispersal with a BBC Bitesize animation
- Find out more about plant adaptations
- Information about how a seed grows into a plant
See for yourself
- Visit Kew Gardens in London to find out more about plants and see unusual species
- See how the Eden Project has transformed an old China Clay quarry into a habitat for plants
- Visit the Botanical Gardens in Bristol
- Visit the Botanical Gardens in Oxford
- Visit the Botanical Gardens in Durham
- Visit the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham
- Visit the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge
- Visit the National Botanic Garden of Wales near Carmarthen
- Visit the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh
- Visit the Botanic Gardens in Belfast
Give your child a headstart
- FREE articles & expert information
- FREE resources & activities
- FREE homework help
- Grades 6-12
- School Leaders
☘️ St. Patrick's Day Activities: Books, art ideas, experiments, and more!
33 Free Plant Life Cycle Activities That Grow the Learning Fun
Cultivate a love of the natural world
Looking for creative plant life cycle activities? We have 33 fun and free teaching ideas including videos, hands-on experiments, printables, and more. Your students will love learning about the cycle and how they can help plants grow and thrive.
1. Read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed is one of the best plant life cycle references for little ones. Listen to it for story time, then use the book as a springboard for further activities.
2. Start with an anchor chart
Have your students help you create an anchor chart of the plant life cycle, then post it in your classroom for reference as you do some hands-on learning.
Learn more: Plant Anchor Chart at First Grade Fanatic
3. Explore the question “How does a seed grow into a plant?”
If you need a strong video to kick off a lesson about seeds or the plant life cycle, this is a good place to start.
Learn more: SciShowKids via YouTube
4. See it grow in slow-mo
Check out this time-lapse video that shows the fascinating details of how a plant’s root system grows quickly over the course of a few days. After this, kids will definitely want to see it happen for themselves!
Learn more: Time-Lapse Bean Seed at We Are Teachers via YouTube
5. Spin a plant life cycle wheel
Grab the free printables and watch this video to learn how to turn them into an interactive learning tool with paper plates.
Learn more: Plant Life Cycle Printables at We Are Teachers
6. Germinate in a jar
This is one of those classic plant life cycle activities every kid should try. Grow a bean seed in wet paper towels up against the side of a glass jar. Students will be able to see the roots form, the sprout take off, and the seedling reach for the sky!
Learn more: Germination Jars at How Wee Learn
7. Build a sprout house
This is another cute idea for watching seeds sprout. For this one, all you need is a sunny window (no soil required).
Learn more: Sprout House at Playdough to Plato
8. Sort sprouted seeds
As your seeds begin to grow, sort and draw the various stages. Little ones can learn simple vocab like root, sprout, and seedling. Older students can tackle advanced terms like cotyledon, monocot, and dicot.
Learn more: Seed Sorting at Montessori Nature
9. Conduct a plant dissection experiment
Using magnifying glasses and tweezers, students will dissect flowers or food plants to learn the different parts. Handy tip: You don’t need separate plants for every student. Bring in one plant and give each student a different part.
Learn more: Plant Dissection at Royal, Baloo and Logi Bear Too
10. Create living art with cress
Watercress is fun to watch because it grows very quickly on damp cotton. Try growing it as “hair,” or sow the seeds to create patterns or letters.
Learn more: Watercress Growing at The Imagination Tree
11. Sprout sweet potatoes
Not every plant needs seeds to reproduce! Grow a sweet potato to learn about a different kind of plant life cycle.
Learn more: Sprouting Sweet Potatoes at Pre-K Pages
12. Discover why seeds have coats
Seed coats provide protection, but what happens if you remove them? Go hands-on and find out in this interesting experiment.
Learn more: Seed Coating Experiment at Gift of Curiosity
13. Sculpt the plant life cycle in clay
Can’t grow a plant yourself? Sculpt one from clay instead! Watch this Claymation video for inspiration, then pull out the Play-Doh and get to work!
Learn more: Claymation Plant Reproduction at iKit via YouTube
14. Don’t forget about pollinators!
Seed-bearing plants require pollination, often helped along by insects like bees and butterflies. This pipe cleaner activity shows little ones how pollination works.
Learn more: Pipe Cleaner Pollinators at Around the Kampfire
15. Grow an avocado
Did you know that an avocado seed has a fault line? Learn this and more in this DIY activity which teaches kids how to grow their own avocado plant.
Learn more: Grow an Avocado at Generation Genius
16. Explode a seed pod
Plants that rely on seeds as part of their life cycle need to ensure they spread far and wide. Some plants even have exploding seed pods that help the process along! Learn about them in this cool activity.
Learn more: Seed Pods Activity at Around the Kampfire
17. Display a life cycle bulletin board
We love how clean and easy to understand this plant life cycle bulletin board is. And those colorful flowers are a fantastic touch!
Source: Life Cycle Bulletin Board at Leslie Anderson/Pinterest
18. Go outside to conduct a plant study
After reading a story about what botanists do, students head outside to do a little field work themselves. Not only will they learn a lot, they may help clean up the school grounds!
Learn more: Going on a Plant Field Study at FirstieLand
19. Create a plant life cycle hat
Get some practice sequencing as you cut out and paste together this sweet little topper. Kids will love wearing it as they learn.
Learn more: Plant Life Cycle Hats at Herding Kats in Kindergarten
20. Learn how seeds spread
Using a piece of paper and a paper clip, students will make a model of a maple seed. When they launch their seeds they can watch them spin to the ground like a helicopter.
Learn more: Make a Seed Model at Generation Genius
21. Fold a flower flip-book
The petals of this free printable flower unfold to reveal the stages of a plant’s life cycle. So clever!
Learn more: Flower Flip Book at Teaching Momster
22. Diagram paper plants with shredded soil
This plant life cycle diagram uses paper shreds for soil, a cupcake liner for the flower, and more smart little details that kids will really appreciate.
Learn more: Diagram Paper Plants at Cara Carroll
23. Leaf Chromotography
The different colors found in leaves are created by different chemicals-chlorophyll, flavonoids, carotenoids, and anthocyanins. In this experiment students will see if they can get the pigments in the leaves to separate through chromatography so they can take a closer look at the colors found inside leaves.
Learn more: Leaf Chromotography at A Little Pinch of Perfect
24. Paint with Chlorophyll
Integrate art as students learn the importance of chlorophyll and its role in how a plant makes its own food.
Learn more: Paint with Chlorophyll at Around the Kampfire
25. Try a digital flip-book
Learning online? This free digital activity includes a printable version for kids to complete at home, but it can also be completed virtually to save paper.
Learn more: Digital Flip Books at Conversations in Literacy
26. Compare soils
Plants need many things to grow: sunlight, water and food. In this experiment students will see which plant grows better, one in plain soil or one in fertilized soil.
Learn more: Plant Growth Conditions at Generation Genius
27. Regrow kitchen scraps
Here’s another project showing that not every plant needs seeds. Save kitchen scraps and try regrowing them, with or without soil.
Learn more: Regrow Kitchen Scraps at A Piece of Rainbow
28. Plant seeds in ice cream cones
Learn how to use 100% biodegradable ice cream cones as planters for seedlings. There’s a trick to making it work!
Learn more: Ice Cream Cone Seedling Garden at Smart School House
29. Make a sunny sunflower
Make 3D sunflowers with fold out leaves that teach the life cycle of the sunflower. Then, try growing your own !
Learn more: Sunflower Life Cycle at Wonder at the World via YouTube
30. Do a plant life cycle book study
Break your students into small groups and have each group read one of these stories, then share what they learned with the class. From how plants grow and where our food comes from to the amazing power of seeds, your students will eat these interesting stories up.
Learn more: Plant Life Cycle Books at What I Have Learned
31. Learn what germination means
This easy-to-follow and fun-to-watch video teaches kids all about germination- the process of the growth of a seed into a plant.
Learn more: Seed Germination at It’s AumSumTime via YouTube
32. Keep a plant journal
What better way to learn about the plant life cycle than with careful observation? Every few days after you plant your seeds, students will draw and label the changes that they see in their growing plant.
Learn more: Plant Journal at Chalkboard Chatterbox
33. Learn the Parts of a Plant Song
Roots, stem, leaves and flowers! This catchy tune will help your young learners understand the parts of a plant in a memorable way.
Learn more: Plant Song at Firefly Family Theater via YouTube
If you liked these plant life cycle activities, check out Clever Ways to Bring Gardening Into the Classroom .
Plus, get all the latest teaching tips and ideas when you sign up for our free newsletters , you might also like.
18 Clever Ways to Bring Gardening Into the Classroom
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Biology for Kids
- Most plants make their own food through a process called photosynthesis.
- Plants have a cuticle, meaning they have a waxy layer on their surface that protects them and keeps them from drying out.
- They have eukaryotic cells with rigid cell walls.
- They reproduce with spores or with sex cells.
- Vascular - These plants have specific tissues that help to move materials such as water through the plant. They are further divided into non-flowering plants and flowering plants. Most of the organisms you probably think of as plants, such as trees, bushes, and flowers, fit into this group.
- Nonvascular - These are smaller plants, such as mosses, that use diffusion and osmosis to move material through the plant.
- The fastest growing woody plant in the world is bamboo. Bamboo can grow up to 35 inches in just one day!
- Tomatoes and avocados are considered fruits.
- Fungi (mushrooms) and algae (seaweed) are not considered plants, but are part of their own kingdoms.
- There are nearly 600 different species of carnivorous plants that actually eat insects and small animals.
- The largest flower in the world is the rafflesia which can grow to over three feet in diameter.
- Take a ten question quiz about this page.
- Plant Biology Word Search
- Plant Biology Crossword Puzzle
- Listen to a recorded reading of this page:
- Try for free
Plants (Botany) Resources
From food and shelter to medicine and clothing, plants play a crucial role in our lives. Incorporate botany in your classroom with these lessons and printables on trees, flowers, ferns, molds, and mosses. There are science activities on plant cells, photosynthesis, pollination, and much more! From gardening to chromatography, you'll find fun ideas for Earth Day and Arbor Day. Incorporate the study of flora across your curriculum with art, math, and English resources for all ages.
Whiteboard Compatible Mini-Lessons
- The Amazing Rain Forest Mini-Lesson
- Introducing Deserts Mini-Lesson
- More Mini-Lessons
Bulletin Board Ideas
- Tree Pattern
- Rainbow of Flowers Bulletin Board
- Tree Bulletin Board Example
- Evergreen Tree Bulletin Board for Winter
Printables for Grades K-1
- Plant Parts (Grades 1 & 2)
- Plants & Trees Printable Book (Grades K-4)
- How a Seed Grows -- Little Book
- From Seed to Plant
- What's Wrong With This Picture?
- Fruit Patterns
- More Plant Printables
Printables for Grades 2-5
- Careers: Who Am I?
- Layers of the Rain Forest Worksheets
- All About Fossils
- Go, Seeds, Go!
- Classification Puzzle
- What Is Inside a Seed?
- Dominant and Recessive Genes
Printables for Grades 6-8
- Animal Cell/Plant Cell (Blank) Printable
- What Are the Parts of a Seed?
- The Parts of a Plant Cell and an Animal Cell
- Life Science Test: Plant Structure and Function
Printables for Grades 9-12
- What Are Viruses & Bacteria?
- Which Soil Is Best for Plants?
- Comparing Monocots and Dicots
- What Are Tropisms?
- The Parts of a Flower
- Activity: Seed Dispersal
- What Are Seeds and Fruits?
- In Which Liquids Do Seeds Grow Best?
- Layers of the Rain Forest
- Which Foods Do Molds Love Best?
- Plants of the Rain Forest
- Class Garden
- The Sunflower
- Sunflowers, Van Gogh, and You
- More Plant Lesson Plans
- Ways to Help the Environment
- In a Garden
- KWL Chart - Plants
- The Growth of a Radish Seed
- Seeds Grow into Plants
- What Is in Soil?
- A Seed Chart
- More Plant Graphic Organizers
Earth Day Activities
- Plants of the Rain Forest Rubric
- There's an Owl in the Shower
- Box Up Your Habitat
- Classifying Cerealites
- "My Garden Song"
- More Earth Day Teacher Resources
Arbor Day Activities
- Arbor Day Book
- Autumn Tree
- A Tree is Nice Book -- Little Book
- Tolkien's Middle-earth Unit 6: Treebeard's Lament
- Winter Trees Tree Identification Handout
- More Arbor Day Activities
Plant Resources for Art Class
- Plant Pollination
- Life Cycle Charts
- Sorting Seeds
- Make a Dried Bouquet
- Darling Daffodil
- Science Fun: An Apple a Day
- More Plant Resources for Art Class
- Ready, Set Grow!
- Eye Wonder: Plant
- Eyewitness: Plant
- Eye Wonder: Forest
- E.Guides: Plant
- Gallery of DK Digital Books for Earth Science
Literature & Plants Connected
- Literature & Math: Stories About Flowers
- The Mountain That Loved a Bird
- Literature & Math: If You Give a Moose a Muffin & What If?
- Poke & Look Learning Books
- NSTA Recommends -- Interdisciplinary Connections for Grades 9-12
- Reading Warm-Up 81 for Gr. 1 & 2: Fairy Tales and Folklore
- More Literature Resources on Plants
Plant Resources for Reading & Language Arts
- Arbor Day Wordsearch
- Flower Power Crossword Puzzle
- Eyewitness Plant Printables
- Nonfiction Reading Warm-Up: Colonial Gardens
- Desert Ecology Reading Warm-Up
- Science Key Term Review: Plant Structure and Function
- More Popular Plant Resources for Reading & Language Arts
Plant Resources for Math Class
- Investigate Activity: Estimating and Measuring Mass
- Math Fun with Plants
- Family Activities: Plant a Garden
- What Do the Roots and Stems Do?
- Addition Practice and Connect the Dots
- Spider Plants
- More Plant Resources for Math Class
Science Activities on Plants
- How Does Your Garden Grow?
- Traveling Seeds
- How Do People Use Plants?
- Soda Bottle Terrarium
- More Science Activities on Plants
Plant Resources for Earth Science Class
- Herbs in the Classroom
- Autumn Veggies and Fruits
- Traveling Seeds Worksheet
- More Plant Resources for Earth Science Class
Plant Physiology Resources
- Social Studies: The Maya
- Science: How to Plant Corn
- Science: How Does Popcorn Pop?
- Science: Build a Maize Maze
- Cell Processes and Energy: Just Count the Bubbles
- Gallery of DK Digital Books for Life Science
- Plant Cells
- More Plant Physiology Resources
- Explore Activity: A Sunflower Seed Grows
- Flower Pollination
- How Do Flowering Plants Reproduce?
- The Growing Flower
- What Are Flowers?
- More Flower Resources
Rain Forest Resources
- Rain Forest Products Lesson
- Science Reading Warm-Up: Rainforest Ecology
- More Rain Forests: Teacher Resources
Plant Resources for Social Studies Class
- Women Nobel & Pulitzer Prize Winners
- The Popcorn Plant
- George Washington Carver
- Science and Social Studies: House Plants
- Science and Technology: Planting Trees
- More Plant Resources for Social Studies Class
Plants & History Connected
- Rev Up Your Veggies: A Physical Science Activity
- How Peanuts Grow
- More Plant Resources for History Class
- Gardening Resources
- Earth Day Teacher Resources
STEM Plant Activities- 10 Ways to Learn About Plants!
Categories STEM Activities
Teaching science and STEM this spring? If you’re checking out spring STEM activities , learn about plants with these STEM plant activities that are all about plants, biology, and plant life cycles!
There are so many things that kids will want to learn about plants, and these hands-on STEM activities keep it from being boring! Even the most science-hating kid will have a blast with these activities.
Plant Activities with a STEM Focus
STEM plant activities, lesson plans, and worksheets. Teach students all about plant biology and life cycles with these hands-on plant lessons! Find our favorite plant science activities at the end of this article!
What is a STEM Plant Activity?
A plant activity teaches kids something about how plants work. The activities might teach kids about life cycles, seed germination, the parts of a plant, how plants reproduce, how plants get nutrients, how plants make oxygen, photosynthesis, and a whole lot more!
There is so much to learn about plants and when you use a STEM lens, you can learn so much about the world and how to improve the world for plants and with plants!
What You Need for STEM Plant Activities
If you do any of the plant science activities on this list, you’ll want to check out these Amazon affiliate links for products that we love using with our STEM activities!
Don’t forget to pick up a set of our spring STEM challenge cards to use in your STEM centers this spring. Here’s how to set up a STEM center.
If you want activities for specific ages, check out our spring STEM activities for preschool, spring lesson plans for elementary students, and spring STEM activities for middle school.
Spring STEM Lesson Plans
If you want ready-to-go, low-prep spring lesson plans, you’ll love these resources.
- March STEM Lesson Bundle
- April STEM Lesson Bundle
- May STEM Lesson Bundle
- Spring Science Experiments
- Spring STEM Challenge Cards with Instructions
Our Favorite STEM Plant Activities
It’s spring, so that means it’s a great time to learn about plants! These STEM activities all have fun plant-related themes that make learning about plants fun.
You can learn about capillary action with this Color Changing Flowers Experiment .
Take a flower apart and learn about the parts of a flower in the Parts of a Flower Dissection activity.
Learn about how plants work and basic plant biology when you learn How to Make a 3D Model of the Parts of a Plant .
Learn about native plants around the world in this Learning about Flowers around the world activity.
Get the Apple Tree Life Cycle Worksheet and learn about an apple’s life cycle.
Explore photosynthesis and learn How Trees Make Oxygen.
In this Seed Germination Experiment kids will experiment with finding the right kind of soil to grow different types of seeds.
The Egg Shell Garden Science Project is a fun alternative garden for small spaces.
This activity about plant needs teaches kids about what plants need to survive.
More Spring STEM for Kids
20 Engaging and Fun Spring STEM Challenges for Kids
Spring Lesson Plans for Elementary with a STEAM Focus
The Ultimate List of Spring Science Experiments for the Classroom
Plant biology activities
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Monday 11th of December 2023
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Supporting Plant Sciences for K-12 and beyond
Kindergarten to Fifth Grade Resources
These activities fit especially well into existing classroom units so busy teachers can add a dash of thoughtful plant biology to their existing plans. Guest scientists can leave the activities for independent follow up. Students can use them for preview, homework or flipped classroom assignments.
- Career Day PowerPoint
- Critical Thinking Activities for the 12 Principles of Plant Biology
- Genes in Your Jeans
- How Many Plants in a Hamburger?
- How to Grow a Plant Biologist – Career Tree
- How to Host a Plant Biology Film Fest
- Hunt for Plants in Your House
- Phyllotaxis, Fibonacci, and Plant Biology
- Plant Evolution—DNA & a Family Tree
- Plant Evolution SearchaWord
- Plant Science Podcasts & Critical Thinking Activities
- Plants in Your Pants
- Pro Tips – Studying for the Sciences
- Winter Holiday Songs for Plant Science
- Picture Books for Plant Biology
- Plantas en tus pantalones: El Algodón
- Plantas en tus pantalones: Indigo
- Genes en tus pantalones vaqueros
- Plantas en la casa
- Piante nascoste
- Quante piante in un hamburger
ASPB offers a variety of ways to share your education, engagement or outreach experiences and resources. Eradicate plant blindness by supporting scholarly teaching, active learning, effective mentoring, and evidence-based public engagement.
Seventh to Ninth Grade Resources
- Plant CLUE : Students evaluate symptoms of a sick plant and determine which stress condition caused the response using the classic board game Clue as a model
- PlantingScience – Free inquiry experiences for students, connecting volunteer scientists to small student teams for student-centered research projects
Grade 9-12 Resources
- Learning to Identify Grasses and Grass-like Plants
- Climate Change Phenology Curriculum
- How to Read a Scientific Paper
- Case Study to Accompany How to Read a Scientific Paper
- Free Journal Access for High Schools and Public Libraries
- Use Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to teach photosynthesis and cellular respiration- Inexpensive hands-on activities using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (a green micro-alga) beads to teach the interplay of photosynthesis and cellular respiration to K4–K16 Biology students
- Plant Phenology Data and Citizen Science- Develop and test hypotheses about the relationship between phenology and climatic conditions and examine what phenological data can tell us about climate change
Aspb is active in the vision and change in undergraduate biology education (v&c) movement to ‘nurture the implementation of the vision of a biology education that aligns with the reality of the rapidly changing nature of biology: a vision that demands conceptual, integrative, and critical thinking which crosses disciplinary boundaries and develops problem-solving skills and the ability to work with data at a scale previously unimaginable.’, broader impacts.
ASPB supports faculty researchers pursuing NSF Broader Impacts ( overview; perspectives report ) and strives to align Society resources with guiding principles from the National Alliance for Broader Impacts as well as in concert with Boyer’s four pillars of scholarship .
ASPB offers the Core Concepts (with Learning objectives) in Plant Biology appropriate through advanced study. These concepts form the Plant Biology Learning Framework at CourseSource.org .
ASPB higher education resources that align with the above initiatives include:
Scholarly Teaching/Authentic Publication
CourseSource.org offers evidence-based teaching resources for undergraduate life science education. ASPB developed (with BSA) and manages the Plant Biology Learning Framework . Submit YOUR active learning resources here for review .
Life Science Teaching Resource Community
The Life Science Teaching Resource Community is an online community and resource library for life science educators at all levels. ASPB is a LifeSciTRC Partner Organization . Submit YOUR life science resources here for publication
Teaching Tools in Plant Biology
Up-to-date peer-reviewed research-based content with flexible presentation components.
Wiki Education Foundation
Wiki Education Foundation cultivates learning that enriches…allowing learners to contribute to open scholarship and education for all.
- Why Wiki with Ugrads & Beyond?
- How to Wiki Edit
- Student Training Modules
Grant Programs/Funding Opportunities
Collaborations/collective impact, partnership for undergraduate life science education (pulse).
PULSE offers a network and resources to sustainably transform classroom experiences and administrative support on all higher education campuses.
- Assess your campus
- Change toolkit
Tests a bespoke professional development (PD) model whereby teachers and scientists guide high school students in authentic science and then reflect on instructional and mentoring strategies. NSF #1502892
Grant Supported Resources
Find additional information about funding opportunities here .
Plant BLOOME Awards:
- Plant GIFTS (Genetics In Farming Technology and Science) – Plant GIFTS increases student understanding of heredity with a particular emphasis on breeding while also incorporating information on transmission genetics and the central dogma. Specifically, the project introduces students to the ideas of applied genetics and plant breeding technology through the lens of current global food production challenges.
- Shining a Light on ‘Plant Apathy’:Using Kenneth Oppel’s Young Adult Novel Bloom as a Motivating Tool for Teaching Plant Science to First-Year Undergraduate Students – Bloom by Kenneth Oppel can be used as a literary tool to motivate students when learning about critical plant science topics such as photosynthesis, growth and development, and invasive species
- Athens Science Observer ‘Zines – Born out of a love for science communication, a need to train others in the field, a desire to change culture, and the need for a creative outlet for scientists, Athens Science Observer ‘Zines provide training for writers to effectively communicate science while engaging the public in STEM-related topics.
- Use Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to teach photosynthesis and cellular respiration- Inexpensive hands-on activities using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (a green micro-alga) beads to teach the interplay of photosynthesis and cellular respiration to K4–K16 Biology students
- Climate Change Phenology Curriculum- Helps teachers engage middle and high school-aged youth in a hands-on project that will allow them to 1) become familiar with the biology of their local plants; 2) understand the impacts of climate change on plant life cycles; 3) contribute as citizen-scientists to a national phenological dataset; and 4) analyze and interpret data to discern long term trends.
- Learning to Identify Grasses and Grass-like Plants- A 5-day curriculum to help educators and students (grades 9-12) understand the importance of, and differences among, grasses and grass-like plant species
- Science IRL- Science IRL is a YouTube series that promotes science literacy by communicating science concepts in a real world lab environment.
- My Life as a Plant : coloring book- In My Life as a Plant, Sally Sunflower and her pals inspire kids (PreK-2) to explore the world of plants.This interactive story is a fun first foray into the 12 Principles of Plant Biology.
- VR Plants – The Virtual Reality Plants (VR Plants) project contains video games, exhibits, workshops, and interactive lessons to teach about plant biology through the use of reality-extending technology
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How To Teach Children About Plants
February 7, 2023
It is no secret that children love plants. They are pretty, smell nice, and can be fun to take care of. But what if you could turn your child’s love for plants into a learning opportunity?
Teaching children about plants can be a great way to help them learn about science, nature, and even themselves. Here are some tips on how to teach children about plants.
Related : For more, check out our article on The Importance Of Science In Primary School here.
Table of Contents
Start With The Basics
Teaching children about plants is a fantastic way to give them a strong foundation in biology. To start, it’s essential to explain what a plant is, how they grow, and the vital elements they need to survive.
Start by having your students learn about the crucial parts of plants, such as roots, stems, leaves, and flowers.
You can then explore photosynthesis and its importance in power plants with the energy from the sun. This can then lead to lessons on pollination and growth stages.
Explaining where soil comes from and how it helps nurture a plant is another great exploration activity for children interested in plants.
Understanding these fundamentals will lay an excellent foundation for further study of more complex aspects of plant science.
What is Photosynthesis?
Photosynthesis is a natural phenomenon that occurs among green plants and trees to synthesize sunlight into usable energy.
It is an essential process for plants and all animals on Earth, as it brings energy into the biosphere.
For children learning about the cycle of life, understanding photosynthesis is a significant first step in comprehending how our world functions.
Teaching kids about the basics of this remarkable process can give them insight into self-sustaining cycles, leading to a greater sense of responsibility for nature and its many wonders.
It is a fundamental process for plants and all animals on Earth, as it brings energy into the biosphere.
How Are Plants Classified?
Teaching plants can be a fun and rewarding experience, and one way to engage them with the topic is to explore how plants are classified.
Taxonomy, the science of classifying living things , has identified more than 400,000 species of plants worldwide!
Kids need to understand how they differ from one another in terms of their characteristics to help identify various traits critically, talking about the differences between a gymnosperm and an angiosperm can help kids better distinguish between them.
It’s also fascinating to talk about how particular critical have developed or evolved. Understanding how plants are categorized can be an excellent way for children to learn about them.
Identify The Different Parts Of A Plant
Teaching children about the different parts of plants can be an enjoyable and engaging experience!
It’s essential to start by teaching them the basics – the stem, leaves, flower and roots.
Once they understand this, you can move on to more complex topics, such as why each part supports the plant or what purpose each piece serves.
Encouraging kids to engage with plants is a great way to develop their knowledge, attention to detail and understanding of the world around them; it also helps instil a sense of responsibility when they begin participating in activities such as water pruning and transplanting.
Plant lessons have always been and will continue to be some of the most profound learning experiences.
Explore The Role Of The Flower
Flowers are a particular part of the plant world and can be an excellent way for children to learn about plants.
Exploring the role of the flower in its unique ecosystem is a great way for kids to understand the vital role that flowers play in their environment.
Have your students observe different flowers, specious why they evolved. Talk about what shapes, colours, and odours attract pollinators like worldwide hummingbirds and moths so that plants can reproduce.
Further study could include learning how native Amertos used flowers for medicinal purposes or constructed dyes from different flowers for clothing or other uses.
Learning about the beauty and utility of flowers will give children a lasting appreciation for plants in general!
Describe Reproduction in A Plant
Teaching children about the reproductive life cycle of a plant can be an exciting and engaging experience.
The process begins with pollination, in which pollen from the male part of the flower, called the stamen, travels to the female part of the flower, called the pistil.
The pollen then enters the ovules containing female reproductive cells known as eggs.
After fertilization, a sperm cell from the pollen and an egg cell forms an embryo plant; once this occurs, a seed coat develops around it and helps protect it until germination, where it grows into a mature plant!
This is one of many fascinating parts about plants for kids and adults alike.
Identify The Life Cycle Of A Plant
Teaching a child about the life cycle of a plant can be an enriching experience.
From watching the seed grow into a tiny sprout to seeing that same young plant develop its flowers, fruit, and even reproduce; this natural process is part of what makes our world so romanticized.
Having children identify and understand a plant’s life cycle stages can teach them many valuable lessons about perseverance, time management, and cause-and-effect relationships.
It also can inspire them to learn more about nature, which can help foster respect for our environment from a young age.
Children can develop an appreciation for the natural world around them by learning about plants. This unit will help you teach your students the basics of plant science so they can understand how these critical organisms work.
These lessons are designed to engage young learners and spark their curiosity about the fascinating world of plants.
What is the life cycle of a plant?
A. Plants typically follow five stages in their life cycle: seed, germination, growth, reproduction, and death. During the seed stage, plants disperse their seeds to create new individuals. The germination stage is when the source takes in water and grows roots and shoots.
In the growth stage, the plant matures and produces leaves and flowers. The reproduction stage involves flowering and pollination to form fruit or new seeds for dispersal. Lastly, during the death stage, the plant dies and releases its nutrients back into the soil.
Q. How often should I water my plants?
A. This varies depending on your plant type and environmental factors such as heat or sunlight exposure. Generally speaking, most houseplants should be watered once every one to two weeks with enough water so that it runs out of the drainage hole at the bottom of their pot.
During hot months or if your plant is exposed to direct sunlight, increase watering frequency as needed to prevent wilting or drooping leaves.
Q. How many types of plants are there?
A. There are an estimated 391,000 different species of vascular plants alive today! These include trees, grasses, herbs, ferns, vines, shrubs, mosses and more!
Many more species likely remain undiscovered in remote ecosystems worldwide yet to be explored by scientists.
What is the importance of plants?
A. Plants are essential to our environment and survival on Earth, as they provide us with food, oxygen, medicine, materials for building and clothing, wildlife habitats, and more!
They also play a vital role in stabilizing climates and providing shade from the sun. Additionally, plants help to clean the air, filter water, and protect against soil erosion. In short, plants are essential for our health and well-being!
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The Site for Kids and Teachers
All About Plants for Kids
What are plants?
Plants Lesson Plans
- Match the seed to the Plant Interactive activity
- The Mighty Sprout Project How to grow wheat
- Plants and Our Environment – 4/5 Learn about how plants grow and their relationship to animals. Activities. Grade 4.
- The Great Plant Escape – 4/5 4 and 5 Grade. introduce students to plant science and increase their understanding of how foods grow. Activities enhance student’s math, science, language arts, social studies, music and art.
- Why do Plants have flowers? Find out yourself.
- Seeds of Life What is a seed? Good site to learn about it.
- The Tomato Plant Learn about the tomato plant, the anatomy and more. Descriptive with many diagrams. Great page
- Kinder Garden An introduction to the many ways children can interact with plants and the outdoors. K-Elementary. 3/5
- Plants And Our Environment A website about plants. Facts with illustrations.
- Swan’s Pumpkin Farm Fun facts and activities for kids, word serach, trivia about pumpkins. 4/5
- Pollination of Plants by Insects Facts and links to other very interesting topics on insects.
- Tree Kit Student Good lessons about trees. Facts and illustrations. Grades K-3. 5/5
- Trees Learn how trees adapt to survive. Good simple information.
- Why do leaves change color in the fall? by Science made Simple. Read about it. Good site.
- How do trees carry water from the soil around their roots to the leaves at the top? Clearly, they are fighting gravity–so how do they do it?
- How do large trees, such as redwoods, get water from their roots to the leaves? Here are the explanations from Ham Keillor-Faulkner who is a professor of forestry at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario
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Parts of a Flowering Plant: Lesson for Grades 2-4
This lesson on life science is designed for students in grades 2-4. It teaches students the four basic plant parts, as well as their function. It will keep students engaged because they will be observing a real live plant and doing some drawings of their own.
1. Label the parts of a plant on a diagram
2. Name the four parts of a plant
3. Tell the function of each part of the plant
4. Observe a live plant and name its parts
- chart paper
- picture of a plant
- cards with words: root, stem, leaf, flower
- drawing paper
1. Begin with a KWL chart on chart paper to activate prior knowledge. Ask students: What do you know about plants? What do you want to learn about plants? Write down any reasonable student responses. Return to the chart at the end of the lesson to add what the students learned.
2. Display a large picture of a plant with a view of the roots. Have the following words written on cards: root, stem, leaf, flower. Ask four students to come up and place a card on the appropriate place on the picture.
3. Next, show students a live plant and point out all the parts that were previously labeled. Be sure to carefully remove the roots from the dirt so students get a good view of the root system.
4. Tell students that each part of the plant has a special job. Hand out a sheet with the four parts with space for students to fill in the job, or have students take notes in a notebook (depending on age.) Discuss and take notes on each plant part:
Root – anchors the plant, absorbs water
Stem – supports plant, holds leaves up to sun, carries water, minerals, and sugar
Leaf – captures energy from the sun for photosynthesis
Flower – allows plant to reproduce
5. Go back to the KWL chart and ask students: What did you learn about plants in this lesson?
1. Have students draw a picture of a plant with all four parts. Glue folded pieces of paper around the picture with the parts labeled on top of the paper. Have students write the part’s function on the inside of the paper so it’s seen when the label is lifted.
2. Grow a plant in the classroom and record its growth each week by having students draw the plant. This can be done by folding a piece of construction paper into quarters and drawing a picture of what the plant looks like once a week for four weeks. If you prefer to have a plant growth book, students can draw each week’s picture on a full sheet of paper and staple the four sheets (or more) to make a book.
Give the students a picture of a plant to label the four parts. On the back, have the students write a sentence using each plant part to tell its function.
I hope this lesson gets your students excited about all the wonderful things that occur in the spring. There are many fun, hands-on lessons that can be done with plants.
©Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013 primaryhomeworkhelp.com
Follow me on Twitter @mbarrow
I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.
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Plants are known for sitting still, but some plants are devious killers. Learn more about the amazing world of carnivorous plants with this short text. Then answer CCSS aligned multiple-choice and extended-response questions. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4-8
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