This easy activity helps children learn to identify the different parts of a flower to discover their function. Dissecting a flower allows children to easily examine the different parts in a hands-on manner, making it an engaging and fun activity. For Key Stage 2 children this can be extended to allow children to understand the life cycle of a plant and the role each part plays in reproduction. It’s important to use flowers with enough parts to dissect, for example: Lily, Iris, Daffodil, Tulip.
- Flowers with large parts.
- Paper plates or a sheet of cardboard.
- Magnifying glass
- Diagram of a flower with parts labelled.
Key Stage 1
Identify and name common wild and garden plants.
Describe the basic structure of common flowering plants.
Use observations to suggest answers to questions.
Key Stage 2
Identify and describe the functions of different parts of plants.
Investigate how water is transported within plants.
Explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants.
- Take a good look at the flowers and try to match each part to a label on the diagram.
- Gently remove the petals, thinking about their purpose. Petals attract pollinating insects needed for reproduction and protect the internal parts of a flower.
- Look for the stamen and identify the filament and anther, is there any pollen on the anther?
- Remove the stamens and look for the female part ( stigma ) of the flower.
- At the base of the stigma, students should find the ovary, which can be broken up to find ovules. Ovules are part of the female reproductive system, which develop into seeds when fertilized by pollen.
- Ask the children to draw a plant with the parts labelled from memory or make a collage of a plant using different materials.
- Discuss which properties of flowers make them appealing to pollinators.
- To learn about transport of water in plants, place a plant with white petals into water coloured with food colouring and leave for a few hours. The coloured water is transported up the stem into the petals making them the same colour as the water.
For younger children place dissected flower parts into a tray and ask the children to sort the parts using tweezers.
- Check for pollen allergies/sensitivities before starting the activity.
- Remember pollen can stain clothes, so take suitable precautions.
- For Key stage 1 children this activity can be simplified by identifying only basic flower parts: stem, leaves, petal and discussing their function.