Use these free lesson plans and activities to teach students about plant science—hands-on STEM options for all grade levels!

Hydroponics planters, paper plate with parts of a flower, and a multi-color carnation

Plant science, botany, and plant biology can be introduced to students and explored at all grade levels. To support you in teaching K-12 students about plant science, we have a range of guided educator lesson plans and short activities that can work well in a wide range of settings.

Note: Science Buddies Lesson Plans contain materials to support educators leading hands-on STEM learning with students. Lesson Plans offer NGSS alignment, contain background materials to inspire confidence in teachers even in areas that may be new to them, and include supplemental resources like worksheets, videos, discussion questions, and assessment materials.

Lesson Plans to Teach Plant Science

  1. 1. Plant Needs (Kindergarten)

    With the Doctor, What Does My Plant Need? lesson, even the youngest of students learn what plants need to survive.

    Colorful paper cards used for a plant needs lesson with kindergarten students
  2. 2. Transpiration and Capillary Action (Grade 2)

    With the Water Transport in Plants lesson, students use flowers (or celery) and colored water to observe the process of how water moves through a plant. (An activity version is also available.)

    White carnation and a multi-colored carnation that has taken on color from a cup of dyed water
  3. 3. What is Coral? (Grades 2-6)

    With the Is Coral a Plant or Animal? lesson, students build an edible coral polyp to learn about the anatomy of coral and learn why corals are animals rather than plants.

    close-up of Coral Polyps

    "Close-up of Coral Polyps" © 2009 Mark Yokohama

  4. 4. Plant Pollination (Grades 3-7)

    With the Flowers Seeking Pollinators lesson, students learn about plant reproduction and use real data to find out which flowers get the most attention from different pollinators.

    Bee on a flower

    "European honey bee extracts nectar" by John Severns

  5. 5. Seed Dispersal (Grades 6-8)

    In the Plant Seed Design Challenge lesson, students learn about plant reproduction and are then challenged to design a seed structure that could be dispersed by an animal.

    One self-made and one natural burr attached to a wool glove
  6. 6. Root Growth (Grades 6-8)

    In the Bending Plant Roots with Gravity lesson, students investigate how changes in a plant's environment can alter the shape of the growing roots.

    Plant seeds in a plastic bag

Activities to Teach or Explore Plant Science

  1. 1. Flower Dissection

    In the Dissect a Flower activity, students take flowers apart piece by piece to learn more about the parts of a flower and see what parts different flowers have in common.

  2. 2. Pigments in Leaves

    In the Find the Hidden Colors of Leaves activity, students use paper chromatography to explore pigmentation in leaves.

    Colorful fall leaves
  3. 3. Growing Plants without Soil

    In the Hydroponics Made Easy activity, students set up their own mini-gardens and grow plants with nutrient-rich water instead of soil.

  4. 4. Osmosis

    In the Shrink a Potato with Osmosis! activity, students use potatoes to investigate the role of osmosis in moving water from soil and into a plant's cells.

Careers in Plant Science

Students interested in plant science can explore careers related to growing plants, environmental issues, or engineering related to plants. Students can learn more about relevant career paths in the following STEM career profiles:

Thematic Collections

Collections like this help educators find themed activities in a specific subject area or discover activities and lessons that meet a curriculum need. We hope these collections make it convenient for teachers to browse related lessons and activities. For other collections, see the Teaching Science Units and Thematic Collections lists. We encourage you to browse the complete STEM Activities for Kids and Lesson Plans areas, too. Filters are available to help you narrow your search.

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