One of the coolest living species on Earth is plants. You can see them everywhere: from palm trees in beach pictures to your neighbor’s dormant apple tree in winter. As an educator, you may feel lost about how to teach this broad subject to your young students. Let’s tackle what these living beings are, read books about the subject, and tips on how to show them to your students.
What are Plants?
Plants are formally defined as living beings that make use of the sun to produce their own food. There are over 300,000 species of them, including trees, grass, and shrubs. Their role in our ecosystem includes being a food source for animals, produce oxygen for all of us, and make use of their parts to make other items for our everyday use.
Parts of a Plant
Plants have lots of parts. As mentioned earlier, they are used to make items that we use in our everyday life, such as medicine, furniture, and clothes. Here is the complete list:
- Shoot – the part of the plant that includes the stem with a leaf or flower
- Flower bud – this is only present in flowering plants and seeing this in plants means that it is close to maturing into a flower
- Flower – this allows flowering plants to produce more seeds so that they can make more of themselves around the area they are in
- Leaf – this is the most important part of the plant where photosynthesis, the process that lets plant make food, happens
- Leaf stalk – this allows the plant to get its nutrients to the leaf and connecting it to the rest of the plant
- Stem – the main passageway of the plant that transports water and other nutrients to each of the parts while bringing them (except the roots) closer to the Sun
- Small shoot – also known as a sucker, it sprouts around the base of larger plants
- Main root – helps keep the plant anchored to the ground and where the rest of the roots branch out from
- Root growth – the thinnest roots that grow out at the tip of the secondary roots
- Secondary roots – connected to the main root that are usually not as thick as the main root
- Root hairs – fine hairs found on all root parts that helps absorb water and minerals from the soil
Books on Plants
If you’ve read The Cat in the Hat to your students before, they will definitely recognize the art that will be used in this book written by Bonnie Worth. Aristides Ruiz did a great job to use Dr. Seuss’s famous style while teaching the readers what plants are and how they are grown. Aside from that, your students will be able to learn what photosynthesis and pollination is.
Unlike the previous entry, this one focuses on one particular type of seed: the dandelion. It features the last dandelion seed who doesn’t want to leave the plant and eventually gets flied away. Your students will be touched by its journey while helping them learn about how plants grow.
This book written and illustrated by Henry Cole takes your students on a trip to a wonderful garden. Not only will they feel amazed by the number of plants they can see, they can also learn what insects and animals can be found around such a beloved garden. This will help inspire them to have their own garden once they come back home.
If you want to teach students more rhyming words and let them see what plants are, this is a perfect fit for you! This will help your students know how a flower grows from seed to full bloom. Not only are the words easy to read, but the art Ruth Heller drew herself makes them look lovely.
The final book on this list is yet another book made by Bonnie Worth. Unlike the book I mentioned before, this one tackles learning more about trees. From their parts to where to look for them, there are lots your students can learn while enjoying the great art made by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu.
How to Teach Plants to Students
What better way to learn about plants than to see one with their own eyes? You can bring a small potted plant or a group of them to the class and let your students look and feel them. Make sure to choose varieties that are safe to touch, see, and smell to avoid any accidents. Taking a quick nature walk around school or at home lets students see so many plants around them. Use an observation journal like the following to draw and record observations.
Have students take pictures of plants they can spot around their house and show them in class. You can also introduce them to various varieties in different countries through videos.
Creating a Garden or Care for a potted plant
Taking care of plants can help students learn about having compassion for nature and being responsible for other living beings.Why not adopt a class plant and teach children how to care for it.
The Blue Brain Teacher Plant Unit
I created this resource to help you create a wonderful study of plants that your students will enjoy. Click here to learn more.
- Plants Poster
- Needs of Plants Poster
- Plants Life Cycle Poster
- Parts of a Plant Poster
- Students will gather photos of plants
- Plants Life Cycle Cut and Paste
- Compare and Contrast Plants and Animal
- Compare and Contrast Tree and Flower
- Searching for Seeds at Home
- Size of Plants
- What are you planting?
- Read and Color
- Read and Do
- How to Grow a Plant Mini Reader
- Graphing Seeds with Master Chart to glue all seeds you will use
- We eat plant parts
- Celery Experiment
- My Plant Book (Observation Journal for Nature hunt)
- My Plants Observations (If you grow plants in the classroom)
- All About Plants Poster (What you will learn display)
- Word Wall
- Listening Center (QR CODES) with response page
- QR CODE educational songs
Tons of activities to make your plant unit fun!
It is important to show your young students about the world around them so that they can learn how to appreciate it in their own lives.
See What Others Are Saying!
This mega-pack contains a wealth of great resources for teaching the different elements of a plant unit, incl. needs, parts, cycle and more. Thank you! This is awesome!
It provides many ways of presenting the material which is useful for my self-contained K/1 class!