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Investigating the plant life cycle

Enjoy these outdoor and classroom learning activities
to discover more about plant life cycles.

This activity could be done as a class group or modified for an individual.

Task 1: Investigating plant parts

You will need: chalk, bare concrete, a vegetated area

1. Draw!

As an individual draw a diagram of a plant on the concrete.  Visit class mates drawings to see if you missed anything. Now as a class group draw and label a large diagram of a plant with chalk on the concrete.

2. Discuss!

Discuss any features with your friends and teacher of parts you may have missed and what role they have for a plant.

3. Collect!

Explore the schoolyard  or your backyard and collect samples of each stage of a plant’s life cycle.

Only collect what is on the ground and no longer being used by the plant.

4. Sort!

Sort all the materials collected by placing them on the correct part of the big plant diagram, creating a large artwork.

5. Record

Take a photo of your artwork!

Task 2: Life cycles in detail

You will need: a vegetated area, pencil, A3 paper, stop watch

1. Collect!

Collect a sample of one of the following - leaf, flower, fruit or seed.

Only collect what is on the ground and no longer being used by the plant.

2. Draw!

Once collected, take 30 seconds to sketch your plant part on an A3 piece of paper.

3. Rotate!

When this time has elapsed, leave your drawing with the plant part on the ground or table. Visit the next plant part and spend 1 minute editing the diagram. Continue rotating around to each diagram until you have visited 5 stations. Return to your original drawing.

4. Reflect!

Reflect on what has been added and details you missed after your first observation.

5. Re-draw!

Redraw your first plant part with unlimited time, adding labels to describe the external features of the plant part. For each feature, consider the colours they see, the sizes of features, how each feature feels, or evidence of any interactions with other living things.

Task 3: Putting it all together

You will need: art supplies (pencils, crayons, craft paper), natural plant materials, scissors, glue, stop motion app/ software

1. Plan!

Create a storyboard of 30-40 frames depicting the life cycle of a flowering plant in succession. Start with the seed and finish with a reproductive adult. Each successive frame should add to the previous frame to create a sense of movement. You could use a friend or friends to help.

2. Snap!

Using natural materials found in the schoolyard or backyard (from Tasks 1 and 2) or art supplies, create and take a photo of each frame using your chosen stop motion video app or software.

Alternative tasks:
• Compose a play or a dance demonstrating the life cycle of a plant.
• Write a narrative from the perspective of a seed which has just dropped in the soil.

drawing of a line of trees