A Seed Grows -
by Pamela Hickman,
Heather Collins (Illustrator)
A great project to do after this craft is to grow a bean seed in a clear plastic cup (put the seed near the edge of the cup so you can see what happens to it!) Draw pictures or take photos as the plant develops. Tasha even got a REAL BEAN off hers (she took it to school for show and tell).
- something to color with
- Print out the craft template of choice.
- Colour the pieces as appropriate and cut them out.
- Glue the stem into the soil.
- Glue the roots under the stem.
- Glue the leaves onto the stem.
- Glue the flower onto the top of the stem.
- Talk about the different parts as the child glues the plant together (see below).
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP in most browsers).
I'm feeling a bit like Ms. Frizzle here, but I thought I'd provide a bit of information on the different parts of the plants. Depending on the age of the children, you can share all or some of this info. (or you can just watch the Magic School Bus episode where Phoebe turns into a beanstalk!)
The simple version (for preschool children):
The flowers attract bees and make seeds. The leaves soak up the sunlight and turn it into food. The roots soak up water and attach the plant to the ground. The stem moves food and water to the different parts of the plant and holds up the leaves and flowers.
The more complicated version (for older children):
Plants are made up of different parts. Each part has a specific function. There are seven basic requirements that plants need in order to grow properly: temperature, light, water, air, nutrients, time, and room to grow.
Photosynthesis means to "put together using light". A plant's leaves use sunlight to turn carbon dioxide from the air, and water into food. Plants need all of these to remain healthy. When the plant gets enough of these things, it produces a simple sugar, which it uses immediately or stores in a converted form of starch. We don't know exactly how this happens. But we do know that chlorophyll, the green substance in the leaves, helps it to occur.
The roots help provide support by anchoring the plant and absorbing water and nutrients needed for growth. They can also serve as storage organs for sugars and carbohydrates the plant uses to carry out other functions. Plants can have either a primary tap root system (such as carrots) or a fibrous root system (such as the plant we grew).
Stems allow water and nutrients absorbed by the roots to travel to the leaves, and then the food produced by the leaves is able to move to other parts of the plant.
The cells that do this work and are housed in the stems are called the xylem cells (move water) and phloem cells (move food).
Stems also provide support for the plant allowing the leaves to reach the sunlight they need to produce food.
Flowers may look like just another pretty face, but in fact, are important in the production of seeds.
Female flowers have a pistil. The pistil usually is located in the center of the flower and is composed of three parts: the stigma, style, and ovary. The stigma is the sticky knob at the top of the pistil. It is attached to the long, tubelike structure called the style. The style leads to the ovary which contains the female egg cells called ovules.
Male flowers have stamens. The stamen is composed of two parts: the anther and filament. The anther produces pollen and the filament holds it up.
Some flowers are male and female. In this case, the
stamen surrounds the pistil.
Petals are also important parts of the flower because they help attract pollinators (like bees and butterflies).
What would happen to your plant if you...
- stopped giving it water?
- dropped it into an ocean?
- stuck it in the dark?
- pulled it out of the dirt?
- put it in the refrigerator?
- put it in the freezer?
- put it in the oven?