Students will

  • Identify and describe the parts of a flowering plant.
  • Differentiate between types of plants.
  • Describe the needs of plants.
  • Define the term photosynthesis.


Age groups: 6-11 years


10:00-10:30 Student will draw a picture of a scientist. We will break the group into three groupings according to age. Two Institute teachers will take each group to different parts of the gym and ask them to draw a picture of a scientist. Children will be given a blank piece of paper and crayons and markers to share. The only direction given will be to draw a picture of what you think a scientist is.


The DAST was originally developed by Chambers (1983) as an open-ended projective test to detect children’s perceptions of scientists. Chambers used seven standard image indicators to evaluated the scientists images. The test has been expanded, standardized and revised by others (Mason, Kahle and Gardner, 1991; Symington and Spurling, 1990; Finsen and Beaver, 1994) to include 11 standard images, alternative images and interview questions and to investigate science teachers’ images and beliefs about scientists and science teachers (Thomas, 1998). Several studies have indicated the emergence of a stereotypical image of scientists as early as the fifth grade (Chambers, 1983; Schibeci and Sorensen, 1983) and increasing sophistication and complexity in images with increasing grade level (She, 1995). The DAST has been used by classroom teachers to assess children’s images of scientists and to initiate discussion (Barman, 1996; Huber, 1995) and to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs in changing students’ attitudes toward science (Flick, 1990; Mason et al, 1991; Matkins, 1996), and to identify factors associated with the participation of females and minorities in the science classroom (New York STS Education Project, nd).


10:30-10:45 Students complete the survey


10:45-11:00 Introduction:  Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson will give an introduction to the concept.


11:00-12:00 Break students into three groups

Group I (youngest group) explore plant parts, label plant parts, draw plant parts using side walk chalk outside

Group II (middle group) explore plant parts, label plant parts, draw plant parts using side walk chalk outside

Group III (older group) use microscope, dissect plants, label plant parts, create lab book of various flowers and plant parts



  1. Discuss plants and what they need. Ask students if all plants are alike, and what they require to grow. Show All About Plants to give students an understanding of plants and their needs.


Do all plants look alike?

What needs do plants have?

How do they get their food?

Discuss the parts of flowering plants and the process of photosynthesis, the process by which plants make food. Talk about plants that are familiar to the students. What do they look like? Where do they grow? What are their needs?



Virginia Standards of Learning


1.4       The student will investigate and understand that plants have life needs and functional parts and can be classified according to certain characteristics. Key concepts include

a)      needs (food, air, water, light, and a place to grow);

b)      parts (seeds, roots, stems, leaves, blossoms, fruits); and

c)      characteristics (edible/nonedible, flowering/nonflowering, evergreen/deciduous).


1.5       The student will investigate and understand that animals, including people, have life needs and specific physical characteristics and can be classified according to certain characteristics. Key concepts include

a)      life needs (air, food, water, and a suitable place to live);



2.1       The student will conduct investigations in which

a)      observation is differentiated from personal interpretation, and conclusions are drawn based on observations;

b)      two or more attributes are used to classify items;

c)      conditions that influence a change are defined;

d)      pictures and bar graphs are constructed using numbered axes;

e)      simple physical models are constructed.


2.4       The student will investigate and understand that plants and animals undergo a series of orderly changes in their life cycles. Key concepts include

a)      flowering plants undergo many changes, from the formation of the flower to the development of the fruit.

a)      living organisms are interdependent with their living and nonliving surroundings


3.1       The student will plan and conduct investigations in which

a)      predictions and observations are made;

b)      objects with similar characteristics are classified into at least two sets and two subsets;

c)      questions are developed to formulate hypotheses;

d)      length is measured to the nearest centimeter;

e)      data are gathered, charted, and graphed (line plot, picture graph, and bar graph);

f)       inferences are made and conclusions are drawn; and


4.1       The student will plan and conduct investigations in which

a)      distinctions are made among observations, conclusions, inferences, and predictions;

b)      hypotheses are formulated based on cause-and-effect relationships;

c)      data are displayed using bar and basic line graphs;

d)      numerical data that are contradictory or unusual in experimental results are recognized; and

e)      predictions are made based on data from picture graphs, bar graphs, and basic line graphs.


4.4       The student will investigate and understand basic plant anatomy and life processes. Key concepts include

a)      the structures of typical plants (leaves, stems, roots, and flowers);

b)      processes and structures involved with reproduction (pollination, stamen, pistil, sepal, embryo, spore, and seed);

c)      photosynthesis (sunlight, chlorophyll, water, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and sugar); and

d)      dormancy.


5.5       The student will investigate and understand that organisms are made of cells and have distinguishing characteristics. Key concepts include

a)      basic cell structures and functions;

b)      kingdoms of living things;

c)      vascular and nonvascular plants; and



Content Information


Plant Parts – Roots

Basic parts of most all plants are roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. The roots help provide support by anchoring the plant and absorbing water and nutrients needed for growth. They can also store sugars and carbohydrates that the plant uses to carry out other functions. Plants can have either a taproot system (such as carrots) or a fibrous root system(such as turf grass). In both cases, the roots are what carries the water and nutrients needed for plants to grow.


Stems carry water and nutrients taken up by the roots to the leaves. Then the food produced by the leaves moves to other parts of the plant. The cells that do this work are called thexylem cells. They move water. The phloem cells move the food. Stems also provide support for the plant allowing the leaves to reach the sunlight that they need to produce food.


Leaves are the food making factories of green plants. Leaves come in many different shapes and sizes. Leaves can be simple, made of a single leaf blade connected by a petiole to the stem (oak, maple), or compound, in which the leaf blade is divided into separate leaflets attached by a petiole to the stem (ash, locust). Leaves are made to catch light and have openings to allow water and air to come and go. The outer surface of the leaf has a waxy coating called a cuticle which protects the leaf. Veins carry water and nutrients within the leaf. Leaves are the site of the food making process called photosynthesis. In this process, carbon dioxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll (the green pigment) and light energy are changed into glucose (a sugar). This energy rich sugar is the source of food used by most plants.

Photosynthesis is special to green plants! Photosynthesis supplies food for the plant and oxygen for other forms of life.

A green plant helped make the oxygen you are breathing today.



Flowers not only look pretty but, in fact, are important in making seeds. Flowers have some basic parts. The female part is the pistil. The pistil usually is located in the center of the flower and is made up of three parts: the stigmastyle, 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 that contains the female egg cells called ovules.


The male parts are called stamens and usually surround the pistil. The stamen is made up of two parts: the anther and filament. The anther produces pollen (male reproductive cells). The filament holds the anther up.

During the process of fertilization, pollen lands on the stigma, a tube grows down the style and enters the ovary. Male reproductive cells travel down the tube and join with the ovule, fertilizing it. The fertilized ovule becomes the seed, and the ovary becomes the fruit.

Petals are also important parts of the flower because they help attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies and bats. You can also see tiny green leaf-like parts called sepals at the base of the flower. They help to protect the developing bud.


The fruit is the ripened ovary of a plant containing the seeds. After fertilization, the ovary swells and becomes either fleshy or hard and dry to protect the developing seeds. Many fruits help seeds spread (maple seeds). Many things we call vegetables are really fruits such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans.


Every seed is a tiny plant (embryo) with leaves, stems, and root parts waiting for the right things to happen to make it germinate and grow. Seeds are protected by a coat. This coat can be thin or thick and hard. Thin coats don’t protect the embryo well. But thick coats can let the embryo survive some tough conditions.

The seed also contains a short-term food supply called endosperm which is formed at fertilization but is not part of the embryo. It is used by the embryo to help its growth. In the beat that is shown, the endosperm is no longer there. It has been used for the growht of the embryo, and most of its nutrients and energy are now in a different form within the tissues of the cotyledon.

Plants with one cotyledon (like corn) are called monocots. If they have two cotyledons (like beans), they are called dicots.

Seeds are a plant’s way of getting from one area to another by either wind, water or animals.