Structure Of A Plant

Sheila Mckinnon Sherman School
1000 S. 52nd Street
Chicago IL 60609
(773) 535-1757


To Investigate How Plants Grow With And Without Seeds. Use scientific methods
to perform simple experiments, including asking a question, making predictions,
describing a procedure, making observations, collecting data, and drawing
conclusions. Follow directions to complete a simple experiment. Gather,
report, and compare data from simple experiments. Devise an experiment to
measure plant growth. Test the factors that affect seed germination. Compare
seed germination of several kinds of seeds. Observe the directional nature of
plant growth. Compare and contrast questions that can be answered by doing
experiments. Describe why similar investigations should produce the same
results. Relate the results of observation. Organize observations and
measurements into charts and graphs. Describe the type of data that can be
collected from a simple experiment. Use a metric ruler to chart the height of
growing plants. Add and subtract numbers, including decimals through the
thousands, and thousandths place. Report the results of experiments in which
the scientific method was followed. Investigate and identify the requirements
for seeds to germinate. This lesson can be modified to teach grades
kindergarten through eighth grade.

Materials Needed:

Flowers, enough for each student to have three
Beans, use a variety of different kinds
Ruler, one for each child
Plastic container, two for each student
Plastic zipper bag
Paper towel
Stapler and staples
Index cards
Dye or food coloring
Hand lens
Straight pins


I will introduce a series of seven experiments regarding the structure of a
plant. These experiments will be taught and studied at separate sessions.
The students will investigate each step in the structure of how a plant grows.

The first experiment will consist of demonstrating how a seed is formed. In
order to do this experiment you will need two kinds of flowers. One with the
male and female reproductive organs and one with the female reproductive organs
only. The teacher and students will observe the pistil (ovary) of the plant,
and the stamen (pollen producing part of the plant). Flowering plants can have
perfect or imperfect flowers. A flower that has both stamens and pistils is
known as a perfect flower. For example, lilies, daisies, peach trees, and elm
trees have perfect flowers. But in some species the flowers are imperfect. An
imperfect flower is one that has either stamens or pistils, but not both.

The second experiment will demonstrate how nutrients are carried by water to
all parts of the plant. To do this experiment you will need food color, water,
a flower, a clear cup and scissors. Place food coloring in a cup half full of
water, and place the flower in the water. It will show the veins in the flower
in the color of the dye that was used, especially if a white carnation is used.
We discovered how a stem carries water and minerals back and forth from the
roots to the leaves.

The third experiment demonstrated what is inside a seed. We dissected a dry
bean and a wet bean to find out what the differences were in the embryos of the
seeds. We split the beans in half and compared the sizes of the embryos. In a
handout we labeled the bean parts.

The fourth experiment introduced how scientist use the scientific method to
collect data of an experiment. We did an experiment to compare the growth rate
of beans that were soaked overnight to some that weren't. We planted some beans
in a botany bag that had been soaked overnight, and planted some in a different
bag that were dry. We recorded data of the growth rate of each botany
experiment, by measuring information and graphing our results on an index card.
For this experiment you will need two zippered plastic bags, paper towel, beans
or other seeds, stapler and staples, water, scissors, ruler, and tape. Students
should record the progress of growth of their projects. They can keep their
records on index cards and place the cards directly under their botany bags.
The botany bags should be taped to the window, or as near to the window as
possible for best results.

The fifth experiment consisted of taking our plants out of the bag and
dissecting the root of one of them. We observed the root under a microscope to
see if we could detect the kind of cell growth that had caused the plant to
grow. What we were looking for was meiosis to take place, that's when cells
divide to make more cells. They undergo ordinary cell division to produce
multicellular, haploid organisms. Certain cells of these haploid organisms
later become gametes, and fuse to form a zygote. As you may know, in both
plants and animals one of each pair of chromosomes in the diploid zygote is
inherited from each parent.

In the sixth experiment we took another plant that we had grown and drew all
of its parts on a sheet of construction paper. Have the students choose a plant
that has complete growth. Such as, a plant with leaf growth, stem growth and
plenty of root growth. Make sure they label their pictures and color them.

The seventh and final experiment consisted of planting their plants. For
this experiment you will need two containers of dirt, small cardboard labels,
straws and scissors. Have the students plant their plants in the pots. Label
each container, one for the dry seeds, and the other for the seeds soaked
overnight. Make sure that they put their plants in the right container. Have
them use their labels to identify their plants. The straws should be slit at
the top with scissors and labels inserted. Then the labels should be inserted
in the dirt next to their individual plants.

Introduce some background information according to the grade level of the
students. Scientist have found that during photosynthesis houseplants can clean
polluted air. Through stomates, plants take in not only carbon dioxide but also
carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. Tested plants that were best at
filtering contaminants are philodendron, golden pothos, and spiderplants.
Houseplants may someday serve as air-filtering systems in space stations.
Plants require water, nutrients, proper temperature and sunlight to grow.
Define some scientific terms before carrying out each experiment according to
the grade level and teacher discretion.

Performance Assessment:

The assessment is based on the outcome of the students science project. The
assessment is also based on the care and observation technique that the student
demonstrates on the behalf of the plant. The student should also have kept a
journal of the day to day growth of their plants.
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