Students will explore the parts and seeds of various fruits and flowers.
Estimated Time20 Minutes
- S1L1a. Students will identify the basic needs of a plant: air, water, light, nutrients.
- S1L1c. Students will identify the parts of a plant: root, stem, leaf, and flower.
- Strawberry plants for examining with fruits and flowers (1 per small group)
- Various fruits (botanically – apple, cucumber, avocado, peach, sugar snap peas, etc)
- Magnifying glass (at least 1 per small group)
- Explain to students that if the plants use their roots, stems, and leaves to collect the water, nutrients, sunlight, and air, they’ll eventually grow old enough for it to be time for them to make baby plants (or seeds).
- Challenge students to determine what plants parts make the seeds by examining strawberry plants in varying stages of development. Students can first find the seed, then investigate the fruit around it, and recognize the flower that formed the fruit.
- Further discussion and exploration could include the questions:
Why do plants need flowers to make seeds?
Plants need a mom and dad to form baby seeds just like humans. Since mom and dad plants can’t walk to each other, they count on pollinators to move parts of the dad plant to parts of the mom plant. Flowers are pretty and have sweet nectar inside to ask the pollinators to come visit.
Why do plants surround seeds with fruits?
Just like our moms and dads are happy when we go off to become our own person, plant mom and dads are happy when seeds travel to become their own plant. They make a fruit in hopes that an animal will carry the seeds off to a new home to grow.
- As a class, develop a shared definition of a flower and fruit and an explanation of their purpose.
- To expand the definition of the flower and the fruit to other plants, watch the following videos and/or dissect a variety of fruits (apple, cucumber, avocado, peach, sugar snap peas, etc). Discuss with students the difference between what we consider a fruit culinarily and how it differs from what we consider the fruit of the plant botanically.
Simulated Apple Timelapse
Zucchini Squash Timelapse
- Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
- The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons