Life Cycle of a Sunflower Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

How do sunflowers grow? In this lesson plan, students investigate the different stages of the sunflower life cycle, create a diagram outlining each stage, and plant a sunflower of their own.

Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this lesson, students will:

  • Diagram the stages in the life cycle of a sunflower.
  • Plant a sunflower seed.


50-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.

NGSS.K-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

NGSS.2-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.


  • Sunflower seeds for planting (one for each student)
  • Large, clear plastic cups
  • Potting soil
  • Water
  • Crafting supplies
    • Construction paper (various sizes and colors)
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Markers
  • Pictures of sunflowers
  • Access to the related lesson video, Sunflower Lesson for Kids: Facts & Life Cycle
  • Access to the quiz
  • Printed copies of the lesson (one for every 2-3 students)


  • Begin by showing students pictures of sunflowers. Discuss the pictures and ask what students know about sunflowers.
  • Talk about how plants all begin - as seeds. Ask students to share what else they know about how a plant grows.
  • Show the video for the lesson, Sunflower Lesson for Kids: Facts & Life Cycle.
  • Once the video is complete, discuss:
    • What are the stages in the development of a sunflower?
    • What has to happen for a sunflower seed to grow?
    • What are seedlings?
    • What are disk florets?
    • How does the cycle repeat itself?
  • Check for understanding:
    • Ask students to raise their hands and share something they've learned about sunflowers.
    • Answer any questions students might have.
    • Have students complete the quiz.


To reinforce learning, guide students through the following activities.

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