Understanding the Roots

K, 1, 2

In this culminating lesson, the students look at the parts of the flowering plant and compare them to the parts of the tree. The students use art supplies to create a flower with all of the essential parts. They reflect on the community planting project and analyze their impact on the earth.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • respond to text and recall details.
  • create a flower with a variety of art materials.
  • reflect on the community planting experience.
  • write a response, detailing sequence of events and expressing feelings.
  • The Earth and I by Frank Asch
  • The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds by Joanna Cole (book or video)
  • Construction paper for background
  • Seeds
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Tissue paper
  • Glitter or sand
  • Additional paper scraps
  • Asch, Frank. The Earth and I. Gulliver Green, 1994. ISBN: 0152004432
  • Cole, Johanna. The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds. Scholastic, 1995. ISBN: 0590222961


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Begin by magically turning all of your children into Bees and Flowers. Match up each bee with a flower and tell bees to visit the roots (feet) of the flowers, the stem (the legs) of the flowers, the leaves (hands) of the flowers, and smell the petals (head) of the flowers. When the bees have investigated all parts of the flowers, have them switch roles and repeat. Ask the children why they think bees like flowers so much? Listen to their answers, and tell them you have a wonderful video (or book) that will explain all of it to them.

  2. Either read or show the video of The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds.

  3. Talk about the different parts of a flower and compare and contrast to the different parts of a tree.

  4. Ask students to name needs of flowers and plants.

  5. Have the art materials (pipe cleaners, seeds, tissue paper, glitter or sand for pollen) available for students to design their own flowers on a piece of construction paper. Their creations must include the essential parts of a flower (labeled) and they should indicate how the pollen is spread to create new flowers.

  6. When the flowers are complete, sit in a circle on the floor and look at the different creations. Following the lead of the students, sort and classify the invented flowers.

  7. Debrief with the students about the entire unit. Discuss their feelings about contributing to the community through the planting project. Review the different types of growing things they have looked at. Discuss the impact they think they have on the environment. Talk about how they feel they are growing (physically and mentally).

  8. For reflection, each student writes or dictates at least two sentences about the community planting experience: sequence of events and feelings about its impact.

  9. Read The Earth and I and discuss the interconnectedness of the earth and its people.


Student flowers should include (labeled) the roots, stem, flower, seed, pollen and leaves. There should also be evidence of how the pollen is spread (wind, bees, carried on animal fur, etc.) Assess student participation in the community planting project designed and carried out by the class. Did the student show enthusiasm, complete his/her responsibilities, and communicate a response to the project?

Cross Curriculum 

Students complete final stages of the community planting project.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Identify outcomes from the service.