Theme: Spring

Parts of a Plant


Objective: The children will learn the basic parts of plants (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds) and the function of each part.

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What You Will Need

  • 4 different simple flowering houseplants (such as an African violet, amaryllis, poinsettia, gardenia, impatiens, jasmine, geranium, oxalis, or daisy)
  • Artificial flowers – 1 per child
  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Magnifying glasses (1 for every 2 children)
  • Diagram of a plant that has been labelled (roots, stem, leaves, flowers, seeds — see Lesson Tips)

What To Do

  1. Display the flowering houseplants. Ask the children to describe what is the same or different about the plants.
  2. Remove one of the plants from the container so the children can see the roots. Allow time to examine the plant with magnifying glasses.
  3. Using the diagram, point out the different parts of the plant: roots, stem, leaves, flowers, and seeds. Explain each part of the plant and the different job each part does to help the plant grow (see Did You Know?).
  4. Distribute artificial flowers and allow time to play with them.
  5. Show the children how to take the flowers apart and inspect the different parts of the flower.
  6. Have the children draw a plant, encouraging them to include the different plant parts. Have children take turns presenting their drawings.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • What is the same about all of the plants? What is different?
  • Describe what plants need to grow.
  • Talk about the job that the roots have. Repeat for the stem, leaves, and flowers.
  • Predict what might happen if the stem (roots, leaves, flowers) did not do its job.

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Put the flowers on the windowsill and assign watering the flowers as a job. Observe how the flower grows.
  • Have the children feel the different parts of the plant. Describe the different textures.
  • Put the artificial flowers in the dramatic play center. The children can make a flower stand.
  • Make large cards with pictures of plant parts glued to them and place them in the science area for further investigation.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could children identify the parts of the plant?
  • Could children explain the importance of the roots in getting water for the plant?
  • Could children explain that the plants need light to grow?
  • Could children describe the job of the leaves in helping the plant to grow?

Did You Know?

Plants are living things that need water, light, nutrients, and air to grow. Each part of a plant has a specific function that helps the plant grow. Roots provide the foundation for the plant and also absorb and store water and nutrients from the soil. The stem of the plant gives the plant strength to grow upright. It also delivers nutrients and water from the roots to the leaves and carries the food produced by the leaves to the rest of the plant. Leaves collect sunlight to make food; this is called photosynthesis. Flowers, typically found on the end of a stem, are responsible for reproduction. Seeds and pollen are produced in the flowers. The seeds have the potential to become baby plants. The seeds can grow leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and more seeds.

Plants are different from other living things because they make their own food. Energy from sunlight is used by the plant to make its food. This is called photosynthesis. Plants use carbon dioxide and make oxygen, which animals and people need to breathe. Oxygen exits the plant through tiny holes in the leaves. Green plants provide most of the oxygen for other living things.

Did You Know?

Plants are living things that need water, light, nutrients, and air to grow. Each part of a plant has a specific function that helps the plant grow. Roots provide the foundation for the plant and also absorb and store water and nutrients from the soil. The stem of the plant gives the plant strength to grow upright. It also delivers nutrients and water from the roots to the leaves and carries the food produced by the leaves to the rest of the plant. Leaves collect sunlight to make food; this is called photosynthesis. Flowers, typically found on the end of a stem, are responsible for reproduction. Seeds and pollen are produced in the flowers. The seeds have the potential to become baby plants. The seeds can grow leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and more seeds.

Learn More

Vocabulary

  • roots – the part of a plant that grows under the ground. Roots take in water and food, and they hold the plant in the soil.
  • stem – the main part of a plant that supports the branches, leaves, and other parts.
  • leaves – a flat part of a plant or tree that grows from the stem or branch. A leaf is usually green.
  • flower – the part of a plant that makes fruit or seeds. Flowers often have a pleasant smell and color.
  • seed – the small part of a plant with flowers that grows into a new plant.
  • photosynthesis – the process by which a green plant uses sunlight to change water and carbon dioxide into food for itself.

Vocabulary

  • roots
  • stem
  • leaves 
  • flower 
  • seed 
  • photosynthesis

Child-Friendly Definitions

Lesson Tips

  • Search the Internet for a printable diagram of the parts of a plant.
  • This is just an introduction to the plant parts. Continue to talk about the parts of plant as you do other plant related science activities.
  • You may want to remove several plants from their containers in advance. The children can examine each plant and will easily notice what they have in common.
  • Put newspaper over tables for easy clean up.

Books

  • Flowers by Melanie Mitchell
  • Flowers (Plant Parts) by Vijaya Bodach
  • Plant Secrets by Emily Goodman
  • Roots (Plant Parts Series) by Vijaya Bodach

Common Core State
Standards Initiative

These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.[2]

Visit the CCSS website

Important Legal Disclosures & Information

  1. While we believe that the books and resources recommended may be of value to you, keep in mind that these are suggestions only and you must do your own due diligence to determine whether the materials are appropriate and suitable for your use. PNC has no sponsorship or endorsement agreement with the authors or publishers of the materials listed. 

  2. There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.