Plant Kingdom Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Debra Patuto

Debra has taught at elementary levels and has an M.ed with certification in elementary education and special education

This lesson will teach you about the plant kingdom. We will learn about the importance of plants to all living things. We will also take a look at how plants get classified or divided into different groups based on their characteristics.

What is the Plant Kingdom

Take a look out your window. You can find plants almost anywhere. High on the top of mountains, under the oceans, in freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds, in dark shady places, and in dry sunny places.

Plants have been on Earth for millions of years and there are hundreds of thousands of different kinds. They are all considered part of the plant kingdom.

This garden is full of different types of plants.
garden

Why Are Plants So Important?

Almost all living things depend on plants in order to survive. Animals depend on plants for their sugars, as well as their production of oxygen to breathe.

Plants go through a process of photosynthesis, which is when plants use sunlight to help them produce food (sugar) and oxygen. This process is cyclical, or a never ending process, so there is always food and oxygen being made.

Animals can't get their food directly from the sunlight as plants can, so they rely on plants (or other animals who have eaten plants) to get the sugars and nutrients for survival.

Animals of every kind depend on plants.
giraffe

Characteristics of All Plants

  • Plants make their own food through photosynthesis.
  • Plants don't move from place to place.
  • Plants react to light, temperature and water
  • Plants have chlorophyll, which is what makes leaves green and which is also needed for photosynthesis to take place.
  • Plant walls (the outside of plants) are made out of a special material called cellulose.

Categories of the Plant Kingdom

All plants are part of the plant kingdom. They then get broken down into smaller groups based on characteristics like size, how they reproduce and make new baby plants, and if water and nutrients (food) can travel throughout the plant.

In the plant kingdom, plants are broken into two groups, vascular and non-vascular.

Non-vascular

The non-vascular plants don't have pathways to carry food and nutrients throughout the plant. You can find non-vascular plants, such as moss, along the forest floor. These plants grow on the ground, on rocks and even on other plants. Non-vascular plants reproduce and make new plants by producing spores. Spores are small and light and spread by the wind and water to new shady and moist locations where they can grow. They don't flower.

This picture shows moss growing on the ground and up the tree.
moss

Vascular

Vascular plants have a tube-like system that travels throughout the plant carrying water and food to all parts of the plants. This group of plants is split into vascular that reproduce with spores and vascular that reproduce with seeds.

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