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6 Plant Parts


  • Project Title6 Plant Parts
  •  /project61_9782/holyokegardenclub-1.jpg/project61_9782/holyokegardenclub-2.jpg
  • Technical support neededA visiting garden expert if program staff do not have gardening expertise.
  • ThemeIntroducing program youth to gardening and healthy fruits and vegetables with a focus on the botany of a plant
  • Submitted ByHope Guardenier, Director, School Sprouts Educational Gardens
  • Organization The CONNECTIONS After School Program, Holyoke Public Schools
  • Brief DescriptionThis project encourages students to plant, grow and taste healthy fruits and vegetables by studying the plant part by part.
  • Materials / ResourcesVegetables for each lesson and supplies referenced in each lesson plan.
  • Team membersLead and assistant instructors of a Gardening Club with gardening experience
  • Pre-requisite knowledgeBasic garden knowledge

Key Questions

  • Key QuestionsWhat are the six plant parts? What do they do for the plants? What do they do for us as humans? How do the six plant parts help plants and people grow?
  • Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?Winter session for the Garden Clubs in the Holyoke Connections Program requires creative adaptations of garden activities which engage the students and connect to growing plants. This project is meaningful to students because each week they look forward to learning about the next plant part and exploring that which we will plant with all their senses. They also have the opportunity to bring some of their creations home to their families, which further connects their learning in the afterschool program to their community. In addition, studies have shown that it takes over 10 exposures to a new food before children will readily eat it. This is one way to expose students to the fruits and vegetables that will help them stay healthy and well.
  • Background Research: What resources were used to find background information for this project?Gardening handbooks, songbooks, instructor knowledge
  • Outcomes: What was the outcome? How was it shared or applied in the community?The outcome was to have students understand how each different part of the plant functions to serve the needs of the plant and also to understand how we, as humans, utilize each of these plant parts for food, fiber, and fuel. Products created as part of this unit were shared with families and as a final lesson the students shared a 6 plant part meal together as a community. Each student was invited to bring a friend or family member to share in this meal.

Units / Activities

  • Roots Day! 1 hourBegin the day by wishing everyone a Happy Roots Day! Make a list of all the roots we eat and post the list on the wall of your room or make a journal of what they have come up with. Roots hole the plant in the ground and gather up water and nutrients from the soil. They are important for plants and delicious for us. Make potato pancakes by grating potatoes, pressing out water and mixing with beaten eggs and frying in a griddle. While one group is cooking another can be making potato prints by cutting potatoes in half and using pumpkin carving tools to cut the potatoes into fun shapes. Use ink pads to make prints or cards for the students to bring home or post on the walls. Then sprout potatoes in cups of water and by poking the pieces with toothpicks and suspending them in the water. As the potatoes sprout and grow, students can look forward to planting them into their gardens and having this one potato produce many more. Ask how many more potatoes the students think this one potato will produce. Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, an necessary nutrient for cell function in humans. They have even more than bananas!pumpkin carving tools Ink pads Journals Cards Large paper for posting list of roots
  • Stems Day! 1 hourHappy Stems Day everyone! Make a list of all the stems we eat. Today we discover the wonder of stems, which transport water up the stem and sugar back down. Using white carnations in water colored with food coloring, have the students demonstrate how stems transport the water and nutrients (food coloring) from the soil up into the plant. Have the students taste the sugar cane. The sweet taste is the sugar produced by the plant being transported from the leaves and stored in the plants stems and roots. Think of all the things you eat with sugar! You are eating a stem! With the celery, students should dissect the stem and see if they can find the parts of the stem that do the transporting - the xylem and phloem. These are tiny tubes on the outside edge of the stem. Students can make a stem snack with the celery in the form of ants on a log. Celery Sugar Cane Carnations Food coloring
  • Leaves Day! 1 hourHappy Leaf day!Make a list of all the leaves we eat and post it. Do a taste test of different kinds of leaves. Some can come from garden green houses or cold frames or indoor gardens of herbs and some can be salad greens from the store or winter farmers market. Have students rate each leave and identify the flavor. Create a leaf chart that names the leaf we eat and the corresponding flavor and then have students rate the taste of the leaf. Then make leaf salad or taco to snack on. Leaf tacos can be layers of different colored leaves (lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, kale, etc...) sprinkled with leaves of different herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, mint, etc...) Leaves are important to plants because the absorb the energy from the sun and turn it into sugar for the plant but they also turn the energy from the sun into food for us! We`re eating the sun`s energy when we eat because everything we eat comes from plants. Have the students try to think of something that they eat that does not come from plants - even the cheeseburger comes from a cow which eats grass...Leaves we eat
  • Flowers Day! 1 hourHappy Flower day! Make a list of all the flowers we eat. This can be challenging but there are the obvious broccoli and cauliflower. In addition there are many flowers we can eat in our garden - nasturtiums, calendula, violets, pansies, chives. The most important connection of this lesson is the fact that without flowers there is no fruit and without pollination of those flowers there is no fruit. And fruit is what we all love to eat, right? So how does a flower grow and how does it become pollinated. Provide students with a selection of different flowers for them to dissect along with a detailed flower diagram. See if they can identify the different parts of the flower. Have them find some pollen, locate the ovule, which will turn into the seed, and peel back the petals to reveal what is in the interior of the flower. The color and pattern of the petals draw the pollinators which dust the flowers with pollen from other flowers to ensure pollination. Using one student as a model, dress him/her up as a flower with petals, sepals, anthers, and a stamen. Then sprinkle them with the pollen and invite another student to try and gather the nectar without getting pollinated. Pretty soon everyone is covered in pollen but having a great time! Now it`s time for a flower snack and craft. Students can press undissected flowers using a flower press or heavy books. And for flower snack, prepare broccoli and cauliflower however you choose.Flowers Flower press Broccoli and Cauliflower Big flower parts for dress up
  • Fruit Day! 1 hourHappy Fruit Day! This is really fun! Kids love fruit and the only thing that makes a fruit a fruit is the fact that it holds seeds. Have kids dissect and eat a variety of fruit and remove the seeds. They can plant all the different kinds of seeds and see if they sprout and then take them home to grow their own apple or orange tree. Count how many seeds come out of each fruit and make a chart. Dry and save the seeds to plant in the spring. Compare different sized seeds and notice how fruits that produce many seeds produce very small seeds and that fruits that produce few seeds produce larger seeds.Fruits
  • Seeds Day! 1 hourHappy Seed Day! Seeds are where it all starts. Make a list of all the seeds we eat. Create sprouting capsules with the kids from baby food jars and cheesecloth by placing a tablespoon of seeds in the baby food jar (or any available jar) then cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Fill the jar with water and shake vigorously then drain the water. Do this 3 times a day. In 5 days they should have a jar of sprouting seeds. Have them sprout different kinds of seeds for the next lesson - Six Plant Part Salad. Seed mosaics are the craft for this day and we can use the lids from the jars as frames for our mosaics. Coat the inside of the lid with glue and have students arrange a variety of different seeds on the lid in a pattern or randomly. A piece of adhesive magnet on the back of the lid will turn this into a fun refrigerator magnet. Remind students that we can plant all of these seeds to make more seeds. Have students estimate how many seeds will be produced for every one seed that is planted. Create a chart and then plant these seeds in the garden. In the fall students can look back over the chart and see if their or their friends estimations were correct. Seeds Jars Cheesecloth Rubberbands
  • Six Plant Part Day!It`s Plant Part Salad Day! Parents and friends can be invited to share in this plant part feast. Have students share the lists they made of all the different roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds that we eat. Today we will eat one of each of those parts in a 6 plant part salad. Start by having the students turn into plants to help remember all these plant parts. Reach down and touch your toes. Those are your roots. Stand up straight this is your stem. Wave your hands in the air, these are your leaves. Place hands on either side of face and smile. You are a beautiful flower. Clap your hands together in front of you and puff your hands up big and fat. This is a delicious fruit. Look inside your fruit. What do you see? Seeds! Have students Now have students prepare the salad. Wash lettuce leaves. Peel carrot roots and grate. Cut celery stems, broccoli flowers, and apple fruits with butter knives. Arrange salad in bowls and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Enjoy with or without dressing. As group is eating have one student prepared to review how the roots help the plants and help us. Have another share the work that stems do transporting water and serving as food. Another reviews how flowers attract pollinators to make fruit which we eat but which also hold the seeds for the plant. And what`s so important about a seed? It makes more plants AND it feeds us. We eat seeds everyday from bread to oatmeal to foods sweetened with corn syrup. It all comes from a seed. Of course the best seeds for us to eat are the whole seeds.Six plant part salad ingredients (see lesson) Preparation materials - grater, knives, cutting boards, bowls, dressing, etc...

Instructional Techniques

  • Cooperative brainstorming listsStudents work together to list as many different part of the plant that we eat as possible. In this way they may share knowledge that they have and learn from others in their group
  • Graphic organizingStudents make charts and graphs to document everything from seed germination estimations to leaf tastes and preferences
  • Teacher-DirectedQuestion prior knowledge

    Assist with hands-on experiments
    Class discussions

  • InterpersonalInviting family members to share harvest

Assessment Techniques

  • Oral presentationStudents share what they have learned with each other and their community at the final day of this unit.
  • Informal sharingStudents present their lists of brainstormed plant parts to their families and friends at the final day of this unit.

Frameworks / Skills

  • Math Frameworks (K-6)
    Use pictures, models, tables, charts, graphs, words, number sentences, and mathematical notations to interpret mathematical relationships. s
    (Math Frameworks (K-6))
  • Math Frameworks (K-6)
    Represent real situations and mathematical relationships with concrete models, tables, graphs, and rules in words and with symbols, e.g., input-output tables. s
    (Math Frameworks (K-6))
  • ELA Frameworks (5-8)
    Write poems using poetic techniques (alliteration, onomatopoeia), figurative language (simile, metaphor), and graphic elements (capital letters, line length).For example, students use postcards of paintings or sculptures from an art museum they have visited as the inspiration for their own paintings. They write a poem or short story to go with their artwork, revise, edit, and critique it, and share their work at a school art exhibit or local senior center. (Connects with Arts Standards 1, 3, and 4.)
    (ELA Frameworks (5-8))
  • ELA Frameworks (5-8)
    Write and justify a personal interpretation of literary, informational, or expository reading that includes a topic statement, supporting details from the literature, and a conclusion.
    (ELA Frameworks (5-8))
  • 21st century
    Health Literacy
    Obtaining, interpreting and understanding basic health information and services and using such information and services in ways that are health enhancing. Understanding preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction. Using available information to make appropriate health-related decisions Establishing and monitoring personal and family health goals. Understanding national and international public health and safety issues.
    (21st century)

Tags = gardening | science | Subject = ELA, Mathematics, Science | Grade Level = Elem | Time Period = | Program/Funding = 647 |
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