Plant Life Cycle Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Give students green thumbs with your instruction on the plant life cycle. This lesson plan includes an engaging video lesson and an interactive classroom experiment. Optional activities and related lessons are also included for further study.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify key elements in the plant life cycle
  • define 'micronutrients' and 'macronutrients'
  • explain hydroponic farming
  • analyze the importance of macronutrients and micronutrients in the plant life cycle


1 hour for instruction and then 10-15 minutes a day for seven days for observation


  • Dried leaves
  • Fresh leaves
  • Plant fertilizer with label
  • Fast sprouting seeds (zinnia, cosmos, corn, watermelon, etc.)
  • Small cups
  • Soil
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Ruler

Curriculum Standards


Follow precisely a multi-step procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.

Key Vocabulary

  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients


  • Begin by passing around the fresh leaves and the dry leaves.
  • Ask students what the differences are between the leaves. Write them on the board.
  • Now show the video lesson Essential Elements of the Plant Life Cycle, pausing at 1:23.
  • Ask the students to identify the leaf that has more water. Is the dried leaf smaller because there is no water?
  • Resume the video lesson, pausing it again at 2:37.
  • Now have the students analyze the micronutrients and macronutrients found on the label of the fertilizer. Does it contain all of the essential nutrients for the plant cycle?
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class now.
  • Now have the students divide into two groups.
  • One group will plant seeds in a cup with soil only. The second group will plant seeds in the soil with fertilizer added.
  • Once both groups of students have planted their seeds, have them label their cups as either 'NO FERTILIZER' or 'FERTILIZER.' They should also mist the soil with water from the spray bottle and then cover the cup with plastic wrap.
  • Place the cups in a sunny warm spot.
  • Each day for seven days, students should monitor the growth of the seeds, keeping a log of anything notable.

Discussion Questions

  • Which seed group sprouted faster?
  • Once sprouted, was there a measurable difference in growth?
  • Are there other sources for macronutrients and micronutrients aside from prepared fertilizer?


  • Have students plant a garden on campus, playing with different levels of micronutrients and macronutrients to see the outcomes.
  • Take a field trip to a commercial farm to see how the plant cycle mandates growing cycles.
  • Have students research and report on hydroponic farming.

Related Lessons

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