Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about plant parts. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Parts of a Plant topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching Parts of a Plant

Growing Up
Bring in seeds for your students to study, plant, and observe. You can provide potting soil and foam cups for each student, or you can plant a seed together as a class. Choose a fast-growing, hardy plant such as marigolds, rye grass, or bean plants. Seeds are affordable and readily available at your local gardening store or grocery store. As the seed grows, have students record their observations and measurements. If the students are using foam cups, they can tear away a section of the cup towards the top after the seed has sprouted, and they will notice how the plant will begin to grow towards the extra sunlight that streams in through that section.

Dissection

A great way to learn about plants is to take one apart. Bring in a few plants for small groups to dissect. You can even bring in weeds from a garden—just be sure to bring in whole plants, with roots included. Have students observe each part and record their observations. Have student volunteers explain the function and importance for each plant structure. Students can also draw plant dissection posters, labeling the plant from root to tip.

Plant Poems

There are many stories and poems about plants. Pick a few poems and read them together as a class. Assign a plant or flower to each student, or let them pick out their favorite from the ones they see at home, in the class, or in nearby parks or gardens. Students can then make up their own poems about plants and decorate their work. You can post their poems around the classroom or, if possible, ask a local greenhouse, nursery, or gardening store to post the poems.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Parts of a Plant

Plant a Plant

If possible, start a garden at home. You can use a small box lined with foil, an old pot, or use your yard to grow plants. Your child can be responsible for watering the plants and making sure they get sunlight. You and your child can research your plants online to discover how much sunlight, shade, and water will help them thrive. Then, your child can watch as the garden grows. Be sure he or she records observations of the plants, taking measurements, drawing pictures, or even taking photos. You may also want to take your child to a farm, nursery, or greenhouse to explore how plants grow and how they are alike and different.

Seeds Come in All Sizes

Have your child collect some different seeds. What is the smallest seed they can find? What is the biggest? Have your child plant some of the small seeds and large seeds that they find. Does the seed size have anything to do with the size of the adult plant? Why do they think seeds might be different? You and your child can look online to see how quickly each seed should grow. Do smaller seeds sprout faster than big ones? Also, avocado seeds are easy to plant and watch grow. You and your child can pierce the seed with a few toothpicks and partially submerge it in a jar of water, with the pointy side up.

Eat Plant Parts

Cooking provides many opportunities to learn about plants. Over the course of a week, have your child record some of the plant parts your family consumes. Did your child eat popcorn made from seeds? Maybe he or she ate broccoli flowers or carrot roots. Cereals are made from grains, which are seeds. Get your child to understand that people eat all parts of plants, and that just as sunlight provide nutrition that allows plants to grow, plants provide nutrition for people. This might be a great opportunity to explore the Food Chain movie.

Plant Walk

Go on a plant walk with your child. Point out different plants such as flowers, grasses, and trees. Have your child observe and identify the structures of each plant and discuss their functions. Which have flowers? Which do not? Which plant has the most leaves? Why? If you see a dead plant, have your child figure out reasons why it did not survive.

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