Plant Life Cycle Project Ideas

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.

There are several stages in the life cycle of a plant and teaching them to young learners is an important part of their understanding of earth sciences. Use the projects below to help students understand the life cycle of a plant.

Life Cycle of a Plant

In order to teach the life cycle of a plant, it is important for teachers to find ways that will allow students to interact and connect with the information being presented. The following projects, designed for use with students in elementary or middle school, have been created for this purpose. They can be used to provide that interactive bridge that truly allows them to connect with and absorb information about the life cycle of a plant.

Paper Plate Project

Materials: white paper plates, drawing paper, markers or colored pencils, brads, pencil, scissors, writing paper

  • Give each student two white paper plates.
  • Using a pencil, have students equally divide both paper plates into fourths.
  • Using scissors, have each student cut out one fourth of ONE paper plate (leave the other plate whole).
  • Using markers or colored pencils, have students fill in each of the four spaces of the whole paper plate with
    • labels
    • pictures, and
    • a brief explanation of each of the stages in the life cycle of a plant
  • Using markers or colored pencils, have students decorate the paper plate that has a piece cut out (make it look like a cover for

a book).

  • Place the cut paper plate over the whole paper plate and affix in the center with a brad.
  • Next, give each student writing paper.
  • Instruct students to write a paragraph explaining the stages in the life cycle of a plant.
  • Finally, have students read their work aloud to the class. As they do so, they should use their paper plate craft to demonstrate each of the stages by rotating the cut paper plate around to reveal each corresponding stage.

For older students: Instead of a paragraph, have them develop and write a full report explaining the different stages in the life cycle of a plant.

Plant a Plant and Journal

Materials: clear plastic cups, planting seeds, potting soil, sharpie, writing paper, pencils

  • Give each student a clear plastic cup filled half way with potting soil. Use the sharpie pen to write each student's name on their cup.
  • Give each student a seed (or seeds) to plant.
  • Demonstrate for students how to plant their seeds in the soil against the side of the cup so that they can be seen through the clear plastic.
  • Have students water their seeds to get them started.
  • Next, give each student 3-4 pages of writing paper and staple them together to form a journal.
  • Have them label their journals, ''Life Cycle of a Plant.''
  • Over the next few days/weeks, have students water their plants daily and make notes in their journals about what they are able to observe about their plants through the clear plastic of the cups they are planted in. As they do, be sure they make note of the different stages as they are able to observe them.
  • Once the plants begin to outgrow their cups, have students share them with the class and read aloud their journals before sending the plants home.

For older students: As they journal about what they observe through the clear plastic cup, have students also draw and label pictures to represent what they see.

Compare to Another Life Cycle

Materials: computer for research, drawing paper, markers or colored pencils

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