Unit of Study

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Title: Plants

Created By: Mary Hagen

School: St. Lawrence School

Content Area: Life Science Second Grade

Brief Description of Unit: 

Students love to grow plant, but do they know how they grow and what they need in order to grow?  What is the life cycle of a plant?  What are the parts of a plant?  We are going to find out all about plants, their parts, and how they change and grow.





Students will describe structures and attributes of living things, processes of life, and interaction of living things with each other and the environment.

Second Grade Life Science Standards:

5.  Students will describe how plants go through a series of orderly changes in their life cycle. (example: flowering plants undergo many changes from the formation of a flower to the development of   the fruit)

6.  Students will classify and analyze living things by structure and function.

8.  Students will identify behavioral and physical characteristics of plants and animals that help them survive in their habitat.



Students will identify and evaluate the relationships and ethical implications of science, upon technology, environment, and society.

Second Grade Science, Technology, Environment, and Society Standards:

1.  Students will describe how technology contributes to solving problems.

2.  Students will explain how technology is applied to daily life.



Students will read at increasing levels of complexity for a variety of purposes.

Second Grade Reading Standards:

3.  Students will interpret information in text to confirm or reject initial predictions.

4.  Students will use context clues and prior knowledge to understand unfamiliar texts. (example: pictures, diagrams).



Students will use write effectively for different audiences and specific purposes.

Second Grade Writing Standards:

1.  Students will distinguish between complete and incomplete sentences.

2. Students will use correct grammar in a variety of sentence structures.

4. Students will use correct spelling of frequently used words in final copies.



Students will use critical listening and viewing skills in various situations and for a variety of purposes.

Second Grade Listening and Viewing Standards:

1.  Students will follow three and four step oral directions.




Level Four - H

Level Three - S

Level Two - N

Level One - U


In this unit, second grade students will be introduced to the life cycle and the parts of plants.  Each lesson will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.  The students will use a variety of technology throughout this unit.  They will use the internet to plant a garden, name the parts of a plant, put an on-line puzzle together, and take a quiz.  They will use Kidpix or Paintbrush to draw and label a plant.  They will use the digital camera to take pictures of the life cycle of a plant.  The students will do a variety of experiments throughout the unit.  They will do some creative writing and art activities.  Ongoing activities will include observing and journaling the growth and development of a plant.  Also, as part of their computer class, the students will make a power point of the life cycle of a plant. 


Daily Schedule

Day 1

The teacher will read Plants and Flowers by Sally Hewitt to introduce the plant unit.

The teacher will present a power point presentation about the six parts of plants.

Day 2

The teacher will lead the students in reading and discussing Chapter 1, Lesson 2 in their science books, "Parts of Plants". 

The students will complete a worksheet page 11, "Parts of Plants", from Science  Resources.

Day 3

Students will do an experiment, "What Do Leaves Need?" from p. A11 in their science books.
  1. Take two potted plants and put them in a place that has a lot of light.

  2. Cover the leaves of Plant  B with foil.

  3. Make a chart and predict what will happen to each plant.  Write it on the chart and in their science journal.

  4.  Record what they observe each day for a week

  5.  Help children explain their results.  (Students should conclude that plants need light to survive.)

Students will complete a plant puzzle on the internet.

Day 4

Students will do an experiment, "Plants Need Water." 
  1. Pour water into clear glass or plastic container.
  2. Add red or blue food coloring.
  3. Stir
  4. Snip off the end of a celery stalk with a knife or scissors.
  5. Put the celery stalk in the colored water.
  6. Predict what will happen to the celery in their journal.
  7. Leave the celery in that water for 48 hours.  (The celery stalk will be streaked with color.  Water rises from the roots of a plant to its leaves.)

Students will do a creative writing exercise.  Students will imagine a plant that is either missing one of its parts or has one of its parts greatly reduced. The students will write and illustrate a story describing how the plant still manages to survive and grow. 

As they finish, the students will play a game, "Plant-Parts Salads" .

Day 5

Students will do an experiment, "Seeds."

  1. Soak lima bean seeds overnight .

  2. Each student will get a bean seed and carefully open it.

  3. Students should see and identify the parts of the seed (seed coat, seed food, plant inside).

Students will complete a "Seeds" packet independently throughout this unit.

Day 6

Students will do an experiment, "Planting Bean Seeds."

  1.  Students will plant 3 bean seeds in potting soil in a styrofoam cup.  Water the soil.

  2. Place the cups by the windows. 

  3. Observe the plants daily and take a picture using the digital camera each day to follow the growth and development of the plant.  The students will use these pictures to add to their journal.

Students will draw a plant and label the main parts of a plant (leaves, stem, roots, flowers, fruit, seeds) using Kidpix or Paintbrush.

Day 7

Teacher will read From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons to introduce the life cycle of a plant. 

Students will do an experiment, "Roots of Seeds."

  1. Place a folded paper towel in a Ziploc bag.
  2. Staple across bottom of bag about 3 inches up.
  3. Place 3 lima beans into bag resting on the stapled section. 
  4. Use dropper to thoroughly wet towel. (This method prevents too much water or moisture to seed.  If the seeds are just laying at the bottom of the bag in water they may rot before they start to grow.)
  5. Put baggies in warm sunlight and observe the root growth daily (which is beginning of a plant's life cycle.).

Day 8

The teacher will lead the students in reading and discussing Chapter 1, Lesson 3, "How Do Seeds Grow into New Plants?"   The students will identify the stages of the life cycle of plants. (1.  seeds  2.  sprout  3.  seedling  4.  young adult  5.  adult plant)

The students will complete a worksheet  Plants Make New Plants, page 17.

Day 9

Students will divide a paper into sixths.  In each part they will draw and label the stages of a plant's life cycle.  (1.  Title & Name  2.  Seeds  3.  Sprout  4.  Seedling  5.  Young Adult  6.  Adult Plant)

Day 10

Students will do an experiment, "Soil Babies."
  1. Students will need an old knee-high nylon. 
  2. Put some grass seed into the bottom of the nylon.
  3. Put a handful of soil in the end of the nylon on top of the seed.
  4. Tie a knot under the ball of soil.
  5. To decorate put eyes, nose, & mouth onto the nylon.
  6. Put the top of the nylon (which is the soil baby) into a baby food jar filled with water.  Make sure just the nylon is touching the water and not the soil.
  7. Observe what will happen after a few day.  Make sure there is water in the jar. (Students should see the soil baby growing hair.  They may need to give it a hair cut!)

Students will play "Plant a Garden"  where they plant a garden and watch it grow.

Day 11

Students will complete a quiz and watch a video, "The Magic School Bus Goes to Seed"- 30 minutes.

Day 12

Students will complete Chapter 1 Test from McGraw-Hill Science series.

Day 13

Culminating Activity:  Students will go on a fieldtrip to Lakeshore Fruit Farm in Ortonville, MN.  They will see the life cycle of apples and parts of apple trees.


Ongoing Activities

***Students will observe and journal the growth and development of the various plant experiments.

***Students will use the digital camera to observe the growth and development of the life cycle of the plant.  The students will use these pictures to add to their journals.

***Students will color and work in their seed packets.

Other Class Activities

Reading Class- The students will read:

                             ***Iuan's Vegetable Garden by Seth Adams

                       ***Mr. Hobson's Garden by Marc Gave

                       ***All About Eggs by Debby Slier

Computer Class- The students will work in groups to make a class power point about the life cycle of the plant.

  • Seeds-First a seed root grows down.  The stem grows up.

  • Sprout-When a stem breaks through the soil, it is called a sprout.

  • Seedling-Soon a young plant has leaves and can make its own food.  It is now called a seedling.

  • Young Adult- The seedling will grow and produce buds that grow into flowers on the young adult.

  • Adult Plant-The plant will grow and the flowers produce into fruit.  Inside the fruit seeds are developing and the life cycle will begin again.




Experiment Supplies:


Internet Resources:



Power Point:

When viewing the Power Point presentation, please click on the screen to change the slides.