by Michelle Crooker
Here is the highly anticipated, anxiously awaited part three in the seven-part “Creation Science” series. If you missed parts one and two, go check them out: Day 1 – Let there be Light and Day 2 – Separating the Waters.
Day 3: Plant Science
“Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout [a]vegetation, [b]plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after [c]their kind [d]with seed in them’; and it was so.” Genesis 1:9-11 NASB
Today we are going to learn a little something about plants. Do you know the parts of a flower? Do you know the different ways flowers disperse their seeds? By the end of this class, you will know the answer to both of these questions and maybe even a little bit more.
Let’s start with pollination. There are two main ways that flowers are pollinated–wind pollination and insect pollination.
|petals||Large, brightly colored||Small, often brown or green|
|scent||Often sweet||No scent|
|nectar||Usually contains nectar||No nectar|
|pollen||Moderate quantity, sticky or spiky||Great quantity, light and smooth|
|anthers||Firmly attached, inside flower||Loosely attached, dangle outside flower|
|stigma||Inside flower, has a sticky coating||Hangs outside flower, feathery or net like|
The reasoning behind the differences is because God made it that way. Insect-pollinated flowers need to be able to attract insects. In order for these flowers to be able to attract insects God gave them a sweet scent and large, brightly-colored petals. Then, in order to make sure that the pollen was transferred, God made the pollen sticky so it would stick to the insects.
With wind-pollinated flowers, the petals are smaller and they have no scent because they do not need to attract insects. However, in order for the pollen to be able to spread, God make it light so it can float on the wind, and He made it smooth so that it won’t clump, thereby allowing it to spread further.
Activity #1 –
I had the kids draw pictures of two flowers. One flower was a wind-pollinated flower and one was insect-pollinated. I had examples for the kids to look at, but allowed them to draw their own flowers.
After the kids were done with their flower pictures, they shared their pictures with everyone else. While they were sharing, we talked a bit more about wind pollination and insect pollination. Then we began to discuss the various parts of a flower.
The parts of a flower that we learned were the petal, stigma, ovary, ovule, filament, anther, sepal and nectary. Older kids you can use these words for spelling and vocabulary.
Petal: one of the leafy structures that comprise a flower
Stigma: receives the pollen during fertilization
Ovary: female reproductive organ
Ovule: reproductive cell which will become the seed when fertilized by pollen
Stamen: male reproductive part of the flower that contains the anther and filament
Anther: contains pollen
Filament: holds the anther
Sepal: small leaves under the flower
Nectary: parts that secretes nectar.
The next activity I had the kids do was to label a flower.
Unlabeled flower printout (53) (one per student)
Labeled flower printout (44)(answer sheet for teacher)
After the kids labeled their flowers, I explained to them that we had one more thing to do. The final part of our class was to use the knowledge that we had gained and to create an insect-pollinated flower that contained the parts we had just discussed.
Licorice pull (string licorice)
M&M® or Skittle®
As a hands-on way for the kids to remember the main parts of a flower, I had them build a side view of a flower. I had Six-hands help me with the demo for the pictures; he was willing because I told him he would be able to eat the flower at the end.
1. Using the fruit roll up, make petals.
2. Arrange the petals in the shape of a flower.
3. Add the stamen, and then cover it with pollen. The full size licorice is the stigma. In order to make the pollen stick you can have the kids dip the end of it into water first, then put a bit of the yellow sugar onto the end of the licorice as the pollen.
4. The stamen is represented by the string licorice (we didn’t have any string licorice so we skipped this part, but I did point out that it is a part of the flower.)
5. Finally we added the ovary (marshmallow) and the ovule (M&M or Skittle).
6. Be sure to have the kids identify each part as you build the flower and again before they eat it. For my co-op class, I had the kids take the flowers to their parents and identify each of the parts before they were allowed to eat it.
Next post is Day 4 – The Sun, Moon, and Stars in the Sky. Until next time, Michelle Crooker – Homeschooler On the Edge
Michelle, a Virginia native, currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. Active in Scouts, area homeschool groups, and with her family, she can be found on her blog, “Homeschooler on the Edge,” as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.