Plant Life Cycle Activities

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Actively involving students in the learning process will increase their level of learning. This lesson offers a variety of engaging activities for students of all ages to use in their study of the life cycle of plants.

Activities to Support the Learning Process

Do you feel like you might have gotten into a rut of verbal instruction and worksheets? It is easy to fall into this familiar pattern of information transmission.

How does it impact your students? Have you noticed that your students' level of engagement declines the more you stand at the front of the class and administer lectures? You probably have. When students are actively, as opposed to passively, involved in the learning process, they are better able to retain the information.

While some students learn best by listening, others need to see, do, and touch to really learn the concepts being taught.

These activities are designed to get your students personally involved in the process of learning the life cycle of a plant. The activities are organized by age group because this concept can be taught at a very basic level or an advanced level with differing results.

High School Activities

These activities are designed for high school aged students or those that are more advanced.

You Teach It

Students will either choose or be assigned a plant (for example, the conifer pine). Students must research their plant and its biological implications (including microbiological aspects of the life cycle stages). Students will compose a three to five minute lesson/presentation which should include, at a minimum, their plant's natural geographic location, life span, life cycle (annual vs. perennial), flowers, fruit and environmental characteristics that impact the plant's life cycle.

Students should be allowed to choose their medium for information translation, such as a PowerPoint slide, whiteboard lecture or any other form of educating they choose.

How Does it Work?

The growth of a plant is an interesting phenomenon. Discuss with your students the fact that the biological information for the entire plant, its flowers and fruit are all encased inside the seed from the very beginning.

Divide your class into groups of two or three. Ask students to devise a way to model the microbiological process through which the seed/plant grows. Some ideas for models are clay models, annotated drawings or computer animated drawings of the process.

Elementary Activities

These activities are designed for younger students who are just starting to learn about the biological life cycle of a plant.


This is an active game to get your students moving while they learn. You will need to make large cards representing each stage of a plant life cycle. Printing and laminating pictures of the stages is fine for a card. Make one set for each group you intend to have playing.

Divide students into groups of four to six depending upon how many life cycle stages you are teaching (seed - germination - root & stem - leaves - flowers - pollination). Place groups in a circle around a central pile of all the life cycle cards. At a signal, in relay fashion, have one student from each group come to the pile and collect only one card, continuing until all groups have gathered all the cards needed to represent the stages in the life cycle of a plant.

Groups must then arrange themselves, one card per student, in the correct order to show the life cycle of a plant. The first group finished wins.

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