What our Flowers and Fertilization lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: Flowers and Fertilization explores the process of pollination. Students will learn about this process and be able to explain how it works. They will also discover the various species that act as pollinators. In addition, they will learn and be able to label the different parts of a flower. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade and 4th grade.
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.
Options for Lesson
In the “Options for Lesson” section, you will find several suggestions for additional ideas and activities to incorporate into the lesson if you want to. For the activity, students could work in groups of three instead of in pairs. Alternatively, the entire class could work together to create a play in which all students have parts to play. Or some students could act in supporting roles or jobs such as costumes, etc. Another option is for students to write a story from the perspective of either a pollinator or a flower. You could gather several types of flowers and have students identify the parts. They could draw a picture of and label each flower. Another suggestion is for students to vote for the best, most creative, etc. play that the class performs. One last idea is to invite a botanist or a greenhouse owner to speak to the class.
The paragraph on this page provides a little more information or guidance on what to expect from the lesson. It reminds you to help students understand the full process of pollination and fertilization. It also suggests you teach this lesson in conjunction with others that relate to asexual reproduction or mitosis and meiosis. You can use the blank lines to record any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.
FLOWERS AND FERTILIZATION LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
Reproduction for Plants
The Flowers and Fertilization lesson plan contains three pages of content. To start off, it asks students how they entered the world. Obviously, they were born from their mother. The number of people in the world continues to grow because of reproduction. Reproduction is the process of making a copy of something. If we make a copy of a picture, that means we have reproduced it. The new picture may not be an exact copy, but it is close.
Human reproduction involves making a “copy” of a person. The children born into the world are like copies of their parents. They inherit some of the same traits and behaviors. Without reproduction, new humans would not enter the world, and the population would decrease. Eventually, there would be no more people at all. The same is true for lots of different animals.
But what about plants? Plants are everywhere. Many plants are flowering plants and produce fruit. However, they cannot walk and move like humans, dogs, cats, or other animals. Because of this, they cannot reproduce like animals. It is obvious that they do reproduce, but how do they do it? Interestingly enough, they reproduce almost like other organisms, but they just need help to do it.
The process by which plants reproduce is called pollination. Flowering plants make copies of themselves by making seeds. The seed is the embryo of a plant. Inside the seed of a plant is everything that it needs to make a new plant. (It is like the fertilized egg during sexual reproduction inside a mother.) The tiny seed, if taken care of and nurtured, will grow into a plant like its parents.
Pollination and Fertilization
The offspring of a plant will be the same species of the parent plant. However, it will not be an exact copy. As with animals, it will have a mix of the genetic code, half from each parent. Only flowers from the same species of a plant can produce seeds. The seeds are produced within certain parts of a flower through pollination and fertilization. Sometimes people confuse the two terms, but they are not the same thing. Pollination is the process that leads to fertilization.
Pollination and fertilization are simple processes that take place wherever flowering plants exist. Flowering plants include the flowers you see in gardens or in front of homes, the dandelions in the grass, and the fruit on trees that can produce fruit. In each of these plants, seeds are produced through the process of pollination and then fertilization.
Just like animals, plants have reproductive organs. Flowers are the reproductive organs of the flowering plant. Since plants cannot move from one place to another place, they must rely on the movement of bees, butterflies, birds, and other methods for reproduction. The steps of the pollination process begin when pollen (the male sex cells of a plant) discharges from the male part of a flower, which is the stamen. Pollen is a fine, yellow, powdery substance. When it is in the air, it can cause allergic reactions for many people.
Steps of Pollination:
- The colorful petals of a flower along with the scent of the nectar attract insects such as bees and butterflies to the flower. Bees and butterflies are considered pollinators.
- These pollinators accidentally land on the male part of the flower—the stamen.
- While on the stamen, tiny grains of pollen from the anthers of the flower stick to the insects’ bodies. The reason those insects are there is to feed on the flower’s nectar.
- The insects then travel to another flower of the same species and accidentally land on the stigma at the top of the pistil. The pistil is the female part of the flower. At this point, the pollinators release the pollen onto the stigma.
- The ovules (eggs) in the ovary at the bottom of the style of the plant wait to be fertilized by the pollen as it travels downward through the style to the ovary.
- Finally, fertilization takes place in the ovary, where a new seed is produced.
Two Types of Pollination
Students will learn that the process by which the fertilized eggs turn into seeds is seed production. Once the plants produce the seeds, the seeds scatter throughout the area through seed dispersal. They can simply fall onto the ground and wait for animals or water to carry them to another area. In some plants, the fruit can “explode,” forcing the seeds into other nearby areas. Wind can also scatter seeds throughout an area.
Besides bees and other insects, pollinators may include birds, bats, ants, and the wind. Pollination occurs naturally, and it is important to the lifecycle of plants. There are two types of pollination: cross-pollination and self-pollination. Both result in the fertilization of the ovary.
- Cross-pollination takes place as explained above, when a pollinator moves pollen from one flower to another flower.
- Self-pollination takes place when pollen transfers from the stamen of a flower to the same flower’s pistil.
FLOWERS AND FERTILIZATION LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The Flowers and Fertilization lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will reinforce students’ comprehension of lesson material in different ways and help them demonstrate when they learned. Use the guidelines on the classroom procedure page to determine when to distribute each worksheet to the class.
CREATE A DRAMA ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
Students will work with a partner for the activity portion of the lesson. They will create a two-person drama or play in which one person plays the role of a pollinator and the other the role of a flower. The plays should involve a creative, imaginary conversation between the two roles that includes vocabulary from the lesson.
In addition, students should be as creative as they want, but they must ensure the facts about pollination and fertilization are accurate. The worksheet provides a sample conversation to help students begin their writing. After creating a rough draft and revising as necessary, students will write the final copy. You will create a schedule for students to present their performances for the class.
LABEL THE FLOWER PRACTICE WORKSHEET
The practice worksheet divides into two sections. For the first part, students will label the parts of a flower. There are 11 total terms to label on the diagram. The second part requires students to fill in the blanks throughout a short paragraph. Students will use the terms in the word bank to complete this section.
FLOWERS AND FERTILIZATION HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Similar to the practice worksheet, there are multiple sections on the homework assignment. First, students will list the steps of pollination and fertilization in order from 1 to 10. On the second part, students will answer a series of nine questions or prompts related to what they learned throughout the lesson.
Worksheet Answer Keys
The lesson plan document provides answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets. Correct answers are in red to make it easier for you to compare them to your students’ responses. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.