Taco ‘Bout Plants 3rd-6th | Series 3, Lesson #2
Key Topics/Vocabulary: Plant Parts, Plant Life Cycle, Adaptations, Structure and Function, Roots, Stem, Leaves, Flower, Fruit, Seeds
Grade Level: 3rd-6th
Connect this lesson to Seeds (1) by asking students if they remember what a seed needs in order for it to have enough energy to grow big and strong. Demonstrate that the nutrients provided for the seed allow it to form 6 different plant parts that enable us to eventually enjoy it as food!
In this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the six plant parts and their individual functions. The class will then identify, harvest, and eat the six plant parts as garden tacos!
Essential Question(s) that Connect CCCs and SEPs:
Plant Parts- Plants have external parts that help them to grow, survive, and reproduce.
Plant Life Cycle- The series of stages all plants undergo from a seed to a mature plant.
Adaptations- A special skill that allows animals and plants to change and survive in their environment.
Structure - Something that was built or grown in a specific way.
Function- What someone or something is used for - its job.
Roots- The part of the plant that grows underground and holds the plant upright and absorbs water and food from the soil.
Stem- The main part of the plant that grows straight up and supports the branches, leaves, and flowers that grow from it.
Leaves- The flat, green part of the plant that grows off of the stem. Its main function is to make food for the plant.
Flower- The part of the plant that blooms and attracts pollinators.
Fruit- The part of a flowering plant that contains the seed.
Seeds- The part of a plant that grows into a new plant.
Begin with a classroom discussion in the seating area in your garden or classroom. Write the following questions on the board, record answers, and discuss with the class:
What are some of your favorite fruits and vegetables that you eat? What are some other foods you like to eat? As you call on students, write down or draw the things they say. Did you know that common components of our diets include roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds? Take a look at the board. Does anyone see a fruit? How about a leaf or root? What about a flower? (broccoli, artichokes, and cauliflower). A fruit? (Tomato, bell pepper, etc). These are the 6 plant parts, and we can eat things from every category.
Go to the garden and have students observe the different plant parts they can find there. Harvest anything edible you might want to add to the tacos. To make this organized you can have separate bowls for the different plants that are in season at different times.
What do each of the parts of the plants do? Flowers: attract pollinators which help the plant make seeds. Seeds: Are like the babies the plant has. Stems: Help hold the plant up above the ground so it doesn’t rot and get it closer to the sun so it can get energy. Leaves: Help the plant get energy from the sun. Roots: Help the plant get water and nutrients from the soil, and help it stand up tall.
Action: Taco Making!
*You can either divide and conquer or lead the cooking demonstration and have students contribute with their words and ideas.
Group 1: rinse lettuce.
Group 2: cut up the fruits.
Group 3: cut up celery
Group 4: grate the carrot or other root vegetable.
Group 5: Separate petals from flowers and/or tear up fresh herbs.
What was your favorite part of the taco? Who can name all 6 parts of a plant? What do the different parts do? Is it essential that a plant has all 6 parts? Why/why not? Is there any plant you can think of that doesn’t have flowers or fruit? (point out that all plants have something like this, but that sometimes might be hard to see.
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