Life Cycle - Plants (KA)
Pre Lab 

  • Describing plants.
  • Exploring how seeds grow.


  • bulb
  • photosynthesis
  • seed

Students determine what is a plant by using a worksheet.


Plants are living organisms and share common characteristics with all other living things. All organisms are composed of cells, grow, reproduce, and respond to various kinds of stimuli like temperature. However, plants have additional characteristics which distinguishes them from other organisms. Plants have the ability to manufacture food (photosynthesis); have unlimited or almost unlimited growth; and cell walls made of cellulose (used in making paper). Students should learn that most plants are green, have roots, grow, have flowers, have leaves, live in soil, and drink water.

The kingdom of plants includes seed plants, algae, ferns, and mosses. Plants have many cells and tissues. They make their own food using chlorophyll (the green pigment) through a chemical process called photosynthesis, which converts water and carbon dioxide into sugars, if there is enough light. They do not move on their own.

Children sometimes mistake some invertebrate animals, like coral or sea anemones as plants. Children reason that if it looks like a plant, it is a plant. Even mushrooms, most children think is a plant because it grows. Children that just see a part of plant like a bulb, root, or seed may not think it is a plant because it is not green.

  1. Discuss with students the needs of plants which include water, air, soil, light, and moderate temperatures. You may want to make an overhead of the worksheet and discuss with children why or why not each is a plant. For each box ask students to answer the following questions in their mind before they answer yes or no.

    Does it move? (no)
    Does it make its own food? (yes)
    Can it live in the dark? (no)
    Does it need soil to grow big? (yes)
    Is it green? (yes)
    Is it part of a plant? (yes or no)

  2. If their answer corresponds then it is most likely a plant. Get your students to reason out the answer and not to just give an answer. Although the frog is green it isn't a plant and an onion is only part of a plant, that's why it isn't green. The mushroom is not a plant, it is a fungi which cannot produce its own food from the sun.
  3. You may want to go outside and have the students determine what is a plant. Remember even grasses and weeds are plants!

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