Photo from WordSwag
Parts of a plant: an activity for children of all ages. Plants are important for many reasons: they can be eaten by humans and other animals, they help to regulate the water cycle, they provide oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, they provide the necessary ingredients for products we use such as fibers and medicines, and they provide a habitat for many species. Plants are essential for life here on Earth. And learning how they work and what parts can be used are vital to our survival.
For younger children (preK-Grade 1): Consider reading the book, From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons. This matching game should be done after learning about the parts of a plant. This activity will help to reinforce that the basic parts of plants are edible and show an understanding of what plants need.
*This activity was adapted from an activity found on teachjunkie.com.
- food items such as: sunflower seeds, peanuts,corn, wheat, or peas (seeds), carrots or radishes (roots), celery or asparagus (stems), spinach, basil, or lettuce (leaves), broccoli or cauliflower (flowers), and apples, tomatoes, or peaches (fruits).
- OR a food magazine and scissors
- garden notebook
- white paper
- page protector
- art medium of their choice
- Place an array of seeds and vegetables on a tray.
- Take a sheet of white paper for each child and on the left side, label the six basic parts of a plant: seeds, roots, stems, leaves, flower, and fruit.
- Next to each of these labels, draw a box.
- Have your child match the parts of the plant with the appropriate label and put it in the box. OR, a variation on this is to have them look through a magazine and cut out the pictures to match with the corresponding label. For example, cut out a picture of carrots and match it to the box labeled ‘roots’.
- Snack on the food and draw the items as desired.
- To reinforce learning, teach your kids the Parts of a Plant song.
- Talk to your children about what plants need to grow strong.
- On a piece of paper have your children draw a plant that is strong and healthy.
- Now have them draw a plant that isn’t getting what they need: too much or too little water (from forgetting to water or from a drought), not enough fresh air (because of pollution or from a forest fire) or too little sun (planted in the shade or in the wrong zone).
- Protect these pages in a page protector and include in their gardening notebook.
For older children (grade 1 and up): Before beginning this activity, consider reading Discovering Plants by Glenn Orlando Blough. The following activity will not only help children be able to identify plant parts, the function of each part, and how they grow, but also be able to identify that most of our food comes from plants.
- garden (or history) notebook
- white paper
- page protector
- art medium of your choice
- In the garden notebook or on a blank sheet of paper (to be included in a garden notebook), have your child draw a plant and label the basic six parts of the plant (seed, root, stem, leaves, and flower) and write the function of each part.
- With these six parts in mind, have your child provide an example of a few food items with each part of the plant. For example, beside the label ‘roots’ have your write ‘carrots, beside the label ‘stem’ have them write rhubarb, and/or asparagus’ or by the label ‘flower’ have your child write ‘broccoli or cauliflower’.
- In their notebook, have your child include information about the needs of plants and how they eat and grow. To learn more about this process, watch the following video:
- Include information learned about the needs of plants and their processes in the garden notebook.