Plants Lesson Plan for 1st Grade

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Teach your 1st-grade students about plants with this lesson plan. They will study the life cycle and the reproduction abilities of various plants, as well as participate in a hands-on activity.


It was Dr. Seuss who wrote in The Lorax, ''it's not about what it is, it's about what it can become.'' In this lesson, your students will learn what those words, as well as the words ''mighty oaks from little acorns grow'' really mean. This lesson will benefit your 1st-graders, as they learn about both the plant life cycle and the plant reproduction process.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson on plants, your students will be able to:

  • Depict a plant's life cycle
  • Identify the different parts of a flower.
  • Draw seed germination posters and germinate seeds


1 - 1.5 Hours


See the activity below for a list of the required materials for this lesson.

Curriculum Standards

  • 1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
  • 1-LS3-1. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.

Instructions, Discussion, and Activity


  • Inform your students that today they are going to be learning about the life cycle of plants, as well as the production of seeds.
  • Ask your students to raise their hands and tell you their favorite plants. Ask them why they chose their answers.
  • Find out if anybody has ever studied about plants previously or if someone helps out in their family's garden.


Furthermore, ask them:

  • Do you know the six stages of the life of a plant? (these are listed below in the activity section)
  • What are some things that are essential for plants to grow?
  • Can you point out the parts of a flower including the stamen, pistil, and stigma?
  • Are pine cones actually seeds? (no, but they protect the seeds that are inside them)
    • Do all pine cones contain seeds?
  • What are some of the smallest seeds and what are some of the largest? (some of the smallest are certain orchids, while one of the largest is the coco-de-mer palm)
  • If you could design your own farm or garden, what types of plants would you grow? Why?

The Importance of Honeybees

  • Why are bees so crucial to the production of seeds?
    • How do honeybees help plants?
  • How do plants help honeybees?
    • What is this relationship called? (mutualistic or symbiosis)

Activity Part 1 - Germinate Your Own Seeds

This germination activity will be fascinating for your students because they will see the miracle of nature with their own eyes!

  • Safety Note - remind your students not to eat any of the beans, peas, or seeds.

Materials: bowl, dried beans (uncooked), dried peas, dried seeds (various, but definitely no apple seeds, as they are toxic), dried paper towels, safety scissors, tape, water, zippered plastic bags (quart size)

Instruct your students:

  • Fold your paper towels. Fold them again and again until they fit in your zippered plastic bags.
  • Now dip your paper towels into the bowl of water.
  • Place the paper towels in your bags.
  • Add one seed into each bag, about two inches from the bottom of the bags.
  • Seal the bags almost completely closed, but with small openings to allow some air into the bags.
  • Tape the bags to your windows. Make sure the beans, peas, and seeds face inside toward the students for easier viewing.

Keeping Tabs on the Experiment:

1) Note how much sunlight each window receives during the day, so your students can compare results.

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