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Plant Parts and Functions

K. Kowalski, Grade 1: Lesson 1 of 3

I expect this lesson to take 1 session. The session is to introduce the

concept that there are different parts of a plant, and each part of the
plant has a different function in order for it to survive and grow.
NGSS targets
DCI: ​LS1.A: Structure and Function
All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their
body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect
themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take
in food, water and air. Plants also have different parts (roots,
stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow.

CCC: Structure and Function

The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed
objects are related to their function(s).

SEP: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Student Learning Objectives:

1. Students will explore a real sunflower to build up questions such
as, “what are the different parts of this flower?” “What different
functions might the parts do for the flower to survive and grow?”
2. Students will connect the ideas of how humans head, body, legs
and arms functions participate in helping us survive and grow to
what plants roots, stems, leaves, and petals do for them to grow
and survive by learning “head/body/arms/and legs” song.
3. Students will recognize the parts of a sunflower, and what
function each part has in order for it to survive and grow; by
putting together a sponge (roots), straw (stem), leaf, cupcake
holder (flower), and seeds by referring to the
“head/body/arms/and legs” song and brainstorming map.
Hand out two real sunflowers to each table, for them to explore. Ask
the students,

“Are there different parts to our bodies? Do they have different

“Do you think that there are different parts to this flower?
“Do you think that each part might also have a different function?”

Ask students to stand up behind their chairs, push them in and stand arm
length apart. Ask students if they are familiar with the song “Head,
Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” Explain that we will be singing this song but
with less words which will be, “Head, Body, Arms, and Legs.” After
demonstrating the words and motions twice while they are silent and
watch, ask them to do the motions and sing the new song with you as a class
once. After they have sung the song, ask the students to sit back down in
their seats. Ask one student from each table to answer,

“What is an example of something our heads do for us?”

Ask one student from another table to answer,
“What is an example of something our bodies do for us?”
Ask one student from another table to answer,
“What is an example of something our arms do for us?”
Ask on student from the last table to answer,
“What is an example of what our legs do for us?”

Write these answers on the white board for them to visualize their
After the activity: Refer to the brainstorming of what the different parts
of our body do for us, and present to the class a poster of a sunflower
that shows all of the parts of the flower. Go through each part of the
flower and connect what our brainstorming of our head, body, arms,
and legs functions are for us, to what the roots, stem, leaves, and petals
functions are for the flower. To guide their thinking ask the students
questions like,

“Do our hands/arms make food for us? Does the flower have a part that
looks like hands?”
“What do you think those leaves might then do for the flower?” (make

As a class we will reflect on the memory song “head/body/arms/and
legs,” as well as the flower map they just brainstormed, to remind them
of what the parts and functions of a flower are. Then, hand out a piece
of paper to each student at their desks, and a baggie of materials.
Formative: Students will apply the concepts of parts and functions of a
flower through an art/textile activity. Each student will be given a piece
of paper, glue, 3 sponge sticks, a straw, cupcake holder, and sunflower
seeds. They will be asked to put the pieces in order of the parts and
functions of the flower.

Summative: Students will construct sponge pieces (roots), straw (stem),

leaves, cupcake holder (petals), and seeds to show their understanding
of the order of the flowers parts and each parts function that allows it
to survive and grow.

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