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An Elementary Lesson on Plant Parts That We Eat

written by: Tracey Bleakley • edited by: Jonathan Wylie • updated: 1/17/2012

Most young children will probably tell you that it would be gross to eat the flowers, stems or roots of a plant and would be surprised to find out that many of those parts are a regular part of their diets. This elementary lesson plan on plants is a fun way to teach kids about plants that we eat.

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    "Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z" by Lois Ehlert is an edible journey through the alphabet. There are many elementary lessons on plants, but this lesson will teach your students even more about plant parts, and which ones are edible.

    Young children will not only see familiar fruits and vegetables. but they will be introduced to new ones, too. It's a perfect choice to go with lesson on plant parts we eat as part of a plant unit in the primary grades.

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    Materials

    • "Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z" by Lois Ehlert
    • Six pieces of chart paper
    • Markers
    • Magazines and grocery store ads with picture of fruits and vegetables in them
    • Glue and scissors
    • Blank books made out of two sheets of white or manila paper folded in half and stapled

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    Procedure

    Ask the children which parts of plants that they eat. Most will probably say that they eat the fruits or maybe the seeds. Ask them if they ever eat stems? leaves? flowers? roots? If they say no, tell them that they probably do. Do they eat broccoli? It's a flower. Celery? It's a stem.

    Show them the book "Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z" by Lois Ehlert. Ask them what foods they recognize on the cover. Read the book, stopping to discuss some of the different fruits and vegetables in the book. Be sure to point out some of the different edible plant parts:

    • Flowers - broccoli, cauliflower
    • Fruits - tomatoes, peppers, squash
    • Stems - asparagus, celery
    • Seeds - corn, peas, nuts, berries
    • Leaves - cabbage, spinach, lettuce
    • Roots - carrots, radishes, beets

    After reading the book the break the class into six groups. Give each group a piece of chart paper labeled with one of the six plant parts on it. Give them markers, glue, scissors and magazines or grocery store ads. Tell them to find different plants of their plant part and cut them out and put them on their chart paper. They can also draw plants if they think of any and can't find pictures.

    When all of the groups are finished, let them share their posters with the rest of the class. Hang the posters up and leave the magazines in the science center so that students can add to the posters if the want.

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    Assess

    Give each student a blank book. Have each student write his name and "Plant Parts We Eat" on the front cover. Show the class how to label each page of the book with one of the six plant parts. Each child needs to draw and label two or three fruits of vegetables for each plant part. If you don't want to make the blank books, the students could also fold a large piece of manila paper into six section and do the same thing.

    Elementary lessons on plants are fun and engaging for students. While many may not know the plant parts that we eat before the lesson, you can be sure that many more will remember when you are finished teaching this lesson.