Plant Dissection

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Plant Dissection

Student worthiness

Tested with great success!

Primary biological content area covered

In this experiment we will focus on the different parts of a plant / flower and their functions needed for survival. We will cover the basic structures and important vocabulary. Students will have the opportunity to dissect a plant and work on critical scientific skills.



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Description of activity

This is a very content driven experiment. Students will dissect flowers, with the main focus and emphasis being on learning the different parts and functions. Especially parts that are most necessary for survival. Students will also play a game to learn new vocabulary about plants.

Lesson plan

Plant Dissection Poster
  1. Before teaching this lesson, please refer to Handout 2 to view a diagram of a plant and its parts. It is recommended to make this handout poster-size for students to reference to.
  2. Give each student Handout 1 (Plant Dissection Worksheet). Have students create a hypothesis on what they think a plant is made of and talk about what they already know about plants.
  3. Give each student Handout 3 (Plant Vocabulary).
  4. Go over the diagram of a plant (Large Poster) and discuss the different parts and purposes.
  5. Give students Handout 2 (Plant Parts Handout) and have them label the parts by referencing the big poster.
  6. Separate students into groups of 2 or 3 and hand out 1 flower and toothpicks per group.
  7. Begin dissecting flowers.
    1. Use the end of the toothpick to slice the stem down the middle.
    2. Observe the contents inside the stem. Have students write observations on Handout 1.
    3. Remove some petals in order to dissect the stigma, stamen, and ovary of the plant. Go over the parts and their functions.
  8. While dissecting the different parts, have the students tape them next to the appropriate part on Handout 2.
  9. After dissecting discuss that cells make up the composition of a plant, just like humans. If time allows, you can work on the structure of a leaf and its cells in more depth. See Handout 4
  10. Wrap up the experiment by playing the "Plant Vocabulary Matching Game."

Photo Gallery

Potential pitfalls

Literature connections

Art connections

This project could very easily be connected to an art project as well. Tell students to take a few different colors of construction paper and create a cutout of a plant. If they like, the colors can correspond to different parts of the plant. For example, the green construction paper could be for the stem, leaves, and the sepals, pink construction paper for the petals, and yellow construction paper for the ovary, stigma, filaments and anthers, and brown for the roots. Have them glue or tape together the parts of the flower in the appropriate places, then have them label it. Or, for something a little more simple, after dissecting their flower they can draw what the flower looks like and label the parts.

Connections to educational standards

Vermont Standards

7.13 Students understand the characteristics of organisms and see patterns of similarity and differences among living organisms. This is evident when students:

a. Identify characteristics of organisms. (e.g., needs, environments that meet them; structures.)

Grade Expectations

S3-4:30 Students demonstrate their understanding of structure and function-survival requirements by:

- Explaining how the physical structure/characteristic of an organism allows it to survive and defend itself.

Next steps

A follow up activity for this could be an experiment on a similar plant (bean) and learning what coniditions these plants need to live in for survival. The focus could be on how different plants need different environments in order to surive, yet they still have the same parts and characteristics.

Citations and links The World of Plants Dissecting a Plant and Observing its Parts Plant Drawing and Definitions


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