The Flower, Dissect a Flower, Pollination
- To become more familiar with a flower, its parts and its functions
- To examine the role of a flower
- To examine pollination
- lily flowers, 1 for the instructor and 1 for each child or 1 for every 2 children.
Lilies with pollen - laden anthers are best, but may not be easily available in stores.
- a few other flowers
- construction paper
- white glue, 1 bottle for every two children
- The Reasons for a Flower, Ruth Heller, Putnam Juvenile, 1999
- Set out flowers, construction paper, and pencils.
- Write the following words on pieces of construction paper: petal, stamen, pistil, stigma, ovary, and ovule.
- Review the parts of a plant in The Reasons for a Flower, Ruth Heller, Putnam Juvenile, 1999
Discuss flowers that the students are familiar with.
The flower contains the reproductive parts of the plant. The stamens carry the pollen. It is usually yellow
or orange and powdery. During pollination, the pollen moves from the stamen to the stigma and down the
pollen tube to the ovules. Pollination must occur before the ovules can develop into seeds. The seeds
then grow into new plants (reproduce).
Hand out lily flowers and construction paper to each child (or pairs, if children are sharing flowers). Keep one
flower for yourself and use it to show how to dissect it step by step. With each step, first show how to do it,
then assist the children as needed. Ask the children to keep the flower parts that they are removing.
At the end, they will take the parts, arrange them on a piece of paper, glue them down,
and then label them
- Their shape, color, and arrangement are usually designed to attract pollinators (such as bees, butterflies, moths, or flies).
- The petals also protect the parts inside the flower.
- Gently peel off the petals and look for the male parts of the flower - the stamens. Stamens hold the pollen. If a child wants to find out more detail, add: The stamens have two parts: the filaments are usually shaped like thin strands. Attached to their tops are the anthers. You'll find pollen inside the anthers. The pollen is usually yellow or orange, but it may also be a different color. If you gently touch it, it will rub off on your finger. Try and see. If it doesn't come off, it isn't ripe yet.
- Pull off the stamens and leave the thicker central strand. This is the pistil - the female part of the flower. During pollination, it receives the pollen.
If a child wants to find out more detail, add: The tip of the pistil, which is often sticky, is called the stigma.
During pollination it is the stigma that receives the pollen and directs it down the pollen tube to the ovary.
- The ovary is the thick area at the bottom of the flower, where the seeds form. Break open the ovary
to find the ovules inside.
- To make a model of a flower, arrange all the flower parts that you have dissected on a piece of
construction paper. Then glue each one to the paper.
- Label the parts of the flower. Set out the prewritten labels with the words petal, stamen, pistil, stigma, ovary, and ovule. Adults help assigning the proper name to each part as needed.
- Now try this with other kinds of flowers. What parts do they have? Do they look different?
Record in your journal what you find out.
Vegetables also make flowers. In fact, all the vegetables people eat can produce flowers if the conditions are right.
onion, pepper, or tomato. An imperfect" flower, such as cucumber, squash or melon, does not. It has either male
or female parts. Find vegetables that have flowers. Try to identify the parts. If you leave the flowers on the plants they can develop into fruits.
"The Reasons for a Flower"
- Gather students in a circle.
- Read the book aloud, going slowly page spread by page spread.
- When you finish, invite students to say one thing they thought of, learned, or noticed.
Also invite them to ask their own questions.