Life Cycle - Plants (KB)
Post Lab 

  • Comparing flowers, stems, and leaves.
  • Distinguishing plants from other living things.


  • flower
  • leaf
  • photosynthesis
  • stem
  • worksheet
  • crayons

Students use a worksheet to compare different plants.

cross section of a tree trunk, showing seasonal growth rings


The classification of plants can help students think how to group organisms with similar characteristics. Dichotomous keys are ideal for plant classification. You can either eliminate or include plants based on several key characteristics. For instance, if it has woody tissue (bark) it can be a tree. Leaves, types of seed, overall shape, type of flowers produced can all help in identification. In the lower grades it is important for students to look at the characteristics that will enable them to later identify the different groups of plants.

The plant kingdom can include one celled organisms (diatoms) as well as complex organisms like angiosperms (which are trees but yet have flowers). A main division of plants and trees is based on whether they have vascular tissue or well-developed conducting tissue through which water and solutes pass to various parts of the plant (tracheophytes) . Other plants are non-vascular (bryophytes) and do not possess internal transport systems. Most non-vascular plants live in water or in wet environments that facilitate direct diffusion of water and nutrients. Vascular plants, however, live on land and possess special features adapted to this environment: roots, stems and leaves. As in most classification systems, not all botanists agree on the same system.

Kindergarten students should learn to look at plants and try to group them into plants that are similar. Learning how to identify different types of leaves and bark will help them later group them into the larger groups.

  1. This coloring exercise is to have children look at different plants and to realize that not all plants produce flowers.  There are many different types of plants. Instruct your students to color the rose, daisy, daffodil and label the flower, the stem, and the leaves. Ask them why flowers are important to plants. Flowers in many plants help the the plant produce seeds which help the plant reproduce.  

    Do all plants have flowers? No. Ferns and similar plants do not have flowers. They reproduce by other methods which produce spores.
  2. Do all trees have flowers? Trees like apple trees do have flowers, but later produce a fruit that contains the seeds. Pine trees do not have flowers. They do have cones that contain the seeds that will help make new plants.
  3. What is the difference between plants and all other organisms? Plants produce their own food by a process called photosynthesis. The color green is associated with the plant being able to produce its own food.

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