Lesson #1: Plant Life Cycles
In the Farm-to-Kids Texas K-2 Educational Module, students learned that a plant life begins as a seed. Students will begin this first lesson with a review of plant parts and the functions of each- roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. They’ll then create their own life cycle sequence using a set of cards. To further understand the nutritional and culinary value of seeds, the lesson will conclude with a cooking exercise to prepare a bean salad. Beans are the seeds of legumes and the salad can include an array of them, which may include chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans.
Flowers turn into fruits, which contain seeds. Seeds grow new plants of their same species.
SWBAT explore and illustrate the lifecycle of a plant.
SCIENCE 10 (C) explore, illustrate, and compare life cycles in living organisms such as butterflies, beetles, radishes, or lima beans.
- Name tags
- Pre-surveys (one copy per student)
- Poster paper and markers OR Chalkboard and chalk
- Blank paper, 1 per pair of students
- Fruits/vegetables with seeds and/or variety of dried seeds
- Hand lens
- Bean life cycle worksheets (blank cycle and cut up steps), 1 per student
- Laptop (or computer) and projector with screen
- Can opener
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Canned beans
- Red onion
- Variety of locally-sourced cut raw vegetables for dipping
Write names of students on stick-on name tags
Copy pre-surveys, bean life cycle worksheets, and bean dip recipe for each student
Download From Seed to Flower video (http://klru.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/tdc02.sci.life.colt.plantsgrow/)
Timeline (1 hour total):
5 min Nametags
15 min Introduction
10 min Pre-Survey
10 min Parts of a Plant
10 min Life Cycle of a Plant
10 min Make It – Bean Dip
5 min Taste It – Bean Dip with fresh vegetables
5 min Clean-up
- Name tags. Have each student make a name tag that clearly shows their first name in letters large enough to identify across the classroom.
- Introduction. Have students make name tags, then sit in a circle. One at a time, have students say their name and one thing they enjoy eating. After this introduction, introduce yourself and share the goal and general outline of the class, focusing on the make and taste sessions.
- Pre-Survey. Distribute pre-survey and pencils to students. Explain that the purpose of the survey is to see how their opinions change between the first and last class, and that it will not be used for grades. They should just try their best. Assist if students need clarification on questions.
- Parts of a Plant. Have students pair off and, with their partner, try to name all the parts of a plant. They can write these on a shared piece of paper. After a minute or so, call on one student at a time to name one part of a plant. As each part is named, draw the part on a white Continue until your drawing includes roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. Ask the students: which part of the plant becomes the fruit? After flower is identified, distribute a variety of dried seeds or fruits with the seeds still inside to the students. Allow the students to observe the seeds with a hand lens and discuss the variety of seeds.
- OPTIONAL: Life Cycle of a Plant. Give each student a blank cycle and cut up pictures of the steps in the life cycle of a bean plant. Have them place the cards on the cycle, predicting the order that a bean plant takes to grow. Then watch the From Seed to Flower After watching, have students make any necessary corrections to their order of the bean life cycle before gluing it down. Ask them to describe how plants change as they grow. What part of the seed emerges first? What happens to plant parts as they grow? What is the trigger for a seed to start growing (water, temperature, light)? Discuss how the life cycle of plants is similar to and different from the life cycle of animals. Emphasize that each seed can only grow the type of plant that it came from (a lima bean can only grow a lima bean plant, and a lima bean plant can only be grown by a lima bean).
- Make It – Bean Dip. Distribute bean dip recipes. Give each student a “job” – a step in the preparation of this recipe. Jobs can include opening cans of beans, draining cans of beans, pouring cans, et Pre-cut the onions and mince the garlic beforehand, but have one student add these to the mixer.
Bean Dip Recipe
3 cups of a mix of canned beans (chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, etc)
½ cup cilantro
2 tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Put ingredients in a Cuisinart (or other mixer) and blend until mixed together.
- Taste-It. Distribute a small serving of bean dip to each student, along with a raw sliced vegetable they can dip. Allow them to taste and talk about their experience. It’s okay if they don’t like the food, but encourage children to let others experience the food and form their own opinions before sharing with the class. Ask students – did you know that the dipping vegetables grow in our area?
- Clean-Up – Students will return the classroom to its previous state, including washing cutting boards and knives, and wiping down tables and floors as necessary.
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