Pollination Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Joanne Abramson

Joanne has taught middle school and high school science for more than ten years and has a master's degree in education.

This lesson plan will help you introduce elementary students to pollination. Using a short text lesson, discussion questions, and a hands-on activity, students will explore the birds and the bees of flowering plants.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define the term 'pollination'
  • describe several different means of pollination
  • distinguish between cross-pollination and self-pollination


1 - 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Key Terms

  • Pollination
  • Cross-pollination
  • Self-pollination
  • Anther
  • Stigma


  • Copies of the text lesson What is Pollination? - Lesson for Kids, 1 per student
  • Copies of the lesson quiz, one per student
  • Images of brightly-colored flowers with bumblebees or butterflies
  • Images of hummingbirds and orchids
  • Image showing a cross-section of a flower.
  • Pencils
  • Hand lenses, one per pair of students
  • Tweezers, one per pair of students
  • Butter knives, one per pair of students
  • Tape, one roll per pair of students
  • Lilies, tulips, or daffodils, one per pair of students
  • Construction paper, one sheet per pair of students
  • Document camera, if available


  • Begin the lesson by showing images of flowers with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Ask students to vocalize their observations. Lead the discussion to bees' vision, hummingbirds' beaks, and the concept of co-evolution. If students have not mentioned the term 'pollination,' introduce it now. Explain that they will be learning more about this concept in today's lesson.
  • Write the key terms on the board and display an image showing a cross-section of a flower. Refer to these throughout the lesson.
  • Distribute pencils and copies of the lesson What is Pollination? - Lesson for Kids.
  • As students read through the lesson, have them circle the key terms and underline the main idea of each paragraph. (You may need to pause after each section to allow students time to do this.)
  • Ask a student to read the first section, 'Pollination,' out loud. Point out the anther and the stigma on the flower's cross-section on the board. To check for understanding, ask students the following questions:
    • What is pollination?
    • What is the anther?
    • What is the stigma?
  • Have two students take turns reading the second section, 'Cross-Pollination.' Ask the following questions:
    • Why do plants have ''bright colors, wonderful smells, and cool shapes?''
    • What is cross-pollination?
  • Have two students take turns reading the next two sections, 'How are Seedlings Formed?' and 'Self-Pollination?' Trace the path that pollen takes down the stigma on the flower's cross-section. Ask the following discussion questions:
    • What are some ways that seeds are spread?
    • What is self-pollination?
  • Have three students take turns reading aloud the final three sections, 'Other Ways to Pollinate,' 'The Importance of Pollination,' and 'Lesson Summary.' Ask students the following questions:
    • What are two other ways to pollinate plants?
    • What are some ways that plants help us?
  • To check for understanding, distribute and complete the lesson quiz.

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