The objective of this unit study is to teach students about the anatomy of a plant by examining the root, stems, petals, and other parts.
Students will learn how to identify the parts and will learn why the plant needs each part in order to function. These are facts and activities appropriate for K-3 that can be used in conjunction with a curriculum or as a standalone unit study.
Materials You Will Need
- Book that shows the parts of the plant labeled
- Grass seed
- Zipper sandwich bag
- Zipper quart bag
- Bean or sunflower seed
- Paper towels
- Small plants
Use books to show your child the parts of a plant. A good book for this age group is Parts of a Plant by Wiley Blevins. It is a phonics reader. Having a real plant to look at is a good idea to have on hand when looking through the books.
Getting Into the Lesson
Explain to your child that while many plants look different, they have the same basic components. These include the roots, stem, and leaves, as well as other parts. Let your child examine these parts on a real plant. Just make sure it is a plant that you don’t mind being touched and handled.
Here is a fun and interesting activity.
Egg People: Grass seeds are easy to grow and will teach kids what they must do to make a plant grow. Start by carefully taking the top off of a raw egg and wash and clean well. Let you child decorate the egg using a permanent marker. Cut a one-inch ring off of a paper towel or toilet paper ring to set the egg on. Fill about half of the egg with soil and top with grass seeds and water. Place in a sunny spot and watch it grow.
Consider this fun activity.
See Through Plants: You can grow simple plants and see the entire process take place. Start with an easy to grow seed, such as a sunflower, or bean. Fold over a couple of paper towels and wet with water. Place inside a quart size zipper bag and place the seed inside. Hang in a sunny window and watch the seed take root.
Make a Plant Anatomy Book
Help your child make her own plant book. Take your child on a nature walk and pick two or three different type of plants or flowers. When you get them home, show your child how to take each part of the plant apart. You might want to use a book or a diagram to show your child the stem, stigma, style, petals, and filament. Cut a white piece of paper the size of a sandwich size zipper bag and carefully glue each part of the plant to the paper. Have your child label each part and place inside the bag. Do this for each plant or flower you bring home and staple the bags together to make a book.
Field Trip Opportunities
Visit a nursery or a home improvement store that carries a large selection of plants. When you visit, let your child explore the various types of flowers that are available and perhaps buy a few to take home and plant. This is a good opportunity to talk about the nutrients plants need to grow properly.
Visit a botanical garden, if one is near you. These places usually plan activities and events just for children. If you do not have a botanical garden in driving distance, then consider a trip to your local farmer’s market. Here you will find the outcome of growing plants, all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that you can see.
Use Literature to Teach
Incorporate fun stories such as Johnny Appleseed and Jack and the Beanstalk as a learning activity. You can find worksheets and printouts on these two stories at ABC Teach. Children in this age group really appreciate stories and plenty of activities when learning about something complicated like plant anatomy.
Add Math to the Mix
To add mathematics to your unit study, help your child make a recipe. They will learn about measuring and fractions. Just make sure your recipe uses some type of plant, which would include any fruit or vegetable, along with seasonings such as dill, parsley, and others. There is a link below for some great plant recipes. Watch out for allergies when creating recipes from plants.