I am working on a lesson plan for the life cycle of a plant for kindergarten. Do you have any activity ideas?
— K., Oregon
If you’re teaching about life cycles of flowering plants you should incorporate all the life stages.
Start by growing plants from seeds—particularly large, easily available seeds like peas or beans. I’m sure you’re aware of the zip-top plastic bag and wet paper towel activity. (Soak the peas or beans overnight.) Students will see where plants come from and you can discuss the different parts of an adult plant. Have students identify the same structures in the plants and trees they see on a nature walk.
Flowering plants create the next generation via their flowers. You can purchase inexpensive, fresh flowers and dissect the different parts. (Ask students about potential allergies.) Make sure to cut open the ovary, a harder, thicker section just below the petals. This contains tiny unfertilized ovules— waiting for pollen to develop into seeds. Use magnifiers to examine the ovules and look closely at the other structures on the flowers.
Buy fresh pea pods, bean pods, and fruit. Open them to see the seeds. Where do the fruit and pods come from? Flowers! Photos of fruit trees in bloom or a nature walk during the blooming season will connect the two. You can have great discussions about the fruit we eat! Consider incorporating a talk about pollinators, particularly bees.
A search of The Learning Center will provide you with ideas, lessons and articles on this subject.
Hope this helps!
Picture Credit: johndavi from Pixabay