Plants, Seeds, and Flowers Unit

 

This unit is ©Copyright 2002 by Cindy Downes. All rights reserved. Permission is given to homeschooling parents to use these units free of charge in their own homeschool only. These units may not be reprinted in any other form, for any other purpose (commercial or otherwise) without permission from Cindy Downes. Contact her at cindy@oklahomahomeschool.com.

This unit is designed to be completed in twelve weeks, completing two, 1 - 2 hour lessons per week; however, you can customize it to any length, depending upon how much material you cover and how long you take to cover it. Read over General Directions for Cindy's Unit Studies for information on how to teach the unit.

Plant Unit Ideas. What does your children need to know about plants?

  • God's purpose for plants (1 lesson)
  • Practical uses for plants (1 lesson)
  • Plant reproduction (2 lessons)
  • Interdependency of plants and humans (water cycle, carbon and oxygen cycle, nitrogen cycle), 1 week
  • Gardening (2 weeks)
  • Unusual plants (1 week)
  • Monocots and Dicots (1 week)
  • Biomes (1 week)
  • Plant anatomy (do plant dissection for lab): Flowers, fruit, leaves, root, stem, seed (1 week)
  • Parts of Flower (ovary, petal, pistil, pollen tube, sepal, stamen, stigna (1 week)
  • Life cycle of plants (1 week)
Activities:

The Great Plant Escape. Lesson plan for elementary age students and a teacher's guide.

Photosynthesis for Kids.

A Thinkquest Lesson plan created by students on Plants and Our Environment.

Pollination Adventure: A webquest on pollination. The student must first learn the parts of a flower and then how to pollinate a flower.

Meet the Plant Parts: Students must build a salad by selecting plant parts.

Virtual Cell: Dissect a virtual plant cell. Virtual cell is a a collection of still images, texts and movies covering the structure and functioning of a typical plant cell.

Tree Identification Game: Provide each student with a pencil and a card, which has a list of numbers corresponding to numbers on various trees in the area. Each student is to identify the tagged trees, placing the name of each tree opposite its number on the card. The student who first identifies their list correctly is the winner.

Look up trees in the concordance and see what God says about trees. For starters, try: Deut 20:19; Job 14:7; Psalm 1:3; Ecclesiastes 11:3; Ezekiel 31:1-9. Use the online Bible concordance.

Tree Riddles: What tree is older than others? Elder. What tree keeps milady warm? Fir. What tree do you carry in your hand? Palm. What tree is an insect? Locust.

Leaf Collecting. Take a hike in the woods and collect leaves of all shapes and sizes. Place autumn-colored leaves between two layers of wax paper. Cover with an old towel or cloth rag. Press the fabric with a warm iron, sealing the wax paper together with the leaf in between. Cut your leaves out, leaving a narrow margin of wax paper around the leaf edge. Another way to preserve fall leaves, is by using your microwave oven. Choose fresh leaves with the brightest colors. Take separate leaves or small twigs and place them in the oven on top of two pieces of paper towel. Cover them with one sheet of paper towel. Run the oven for 30 to 180 seconds. The drier the leaves, the less time they will need. Be careful; you could start a fire in your microwave if they cook too long. Leaves that curl after removal have not been dried enough. Leaves that scorch, were left in too long. Let the leaves dry for a day or two, then finish the leaves with a sealant, such as an acrylic craft spray. After you preserve your leaves, have your children identify the leaves. (More ways to preserve leaves.)

A really fast growing plant is a sweet potato. Set the potato root down into a glass or jar. Keep the lower one third covered with water. Then watch it grow!

Recommended Reading: Seeds and More Seeds by Tomi Ungerer (A Science I CAN READ Book), Some Plants Have Funny Names by Diana Cross (learn about plants who have funny names such as Jack-in-the-pulpit and pitcher plant). Plants Bite Back! by Richard Platt (poisonous plants), Amazing World of Plants by Elizabeth Marcus (Answers questions about the different kinds of plants, their growth and reproduction, and the ways they are beneficial to mankind), From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons(Explores the intricate relationship between seeds and the plants which they produce.) All the above books are available through Tulsa County Library.

Video: Tell me Why. Flowers, Plants and Trees. Penguin Productions. (Presents and answers questions about flowers, plants, and trees such as: What is a weed? What is a seed? What products come from trees? How do flowers grow? What is wood?) Available through Tulsa County Library.

Bean Activity: Read children the folktale Jack and the Beanstalk. Show them some dried lima beans. Have them plant the beans two different ways — in a cup with soil and wrapped in paper in a plastic bag. To prepare the first experiment: provide children with a paper or plastic cup. Assist them in filling their cups halfway with soil. Place two lima beans in the soil. Cover with more soil. Add water. Place the cups in a saucer to prevent spilling and keep them in a sunny area of the room. For experiment #2, provide each child with a plastic sandwich bag, a damp paper towel, and two lima beans. Have children wrap their lima beans in the damp paper towel and then place them into the plastic bags. Find another sunny area in the classroom to place the bags. Have the children observe what happens as the beans grow.

Career Opportunities for kids who like to study plants (Horticulturist):

  • maintain botanical gardens, arboretums, and public parks
  • Own/operate wholesale or resale source of flowers, fruits, vegetables, etc. (greenhouse, farmer's market or flower shop)
  • teach at colleges and universities or work in cooperative extension programs
  • provide consultation services in landscaping and pest management
  • conduct research and develop activities for businesses in area like plant breeding, biotechnology, tissue culture, and horticulture chemical product development
  • apply the science of raising plants to the business of running a farm to help farmers make a profit
  • working for government agencies as plant inspectors, lobbyists, urban tree specialist and zoning inspectors
  • serving internationally to help developing countries resolve agricultural problems through peace corps or missions programs
  • environmental horticulturist: develop environmentally friendly ways to protect crops without using toxic chemicals.
  • Horticultural therapy: using plants to help people who are disabled or disadvantaged.

Resources for further study of horticulture: Aggie Horticulture for Kids and Hortikids.com.

(Career information was excerpted from the book, Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Science by Diane Reeves. Wendy Tatro has donated a set of five of these books for our Goals Library. In additional to the above book, we also have Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Talking, Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Computers, Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Animals and Nature, and Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Sports. Thanks Wendy! These are also available through bookstores and several titles are available through Tulsa County Library.)

Be sure to enter these topics on your copy of The Checklist.

Please let me know if any of these links do not work. Email: cindy@oklahomahomeschool.com.

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes