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Teachers' Domain Lesson Plan: Life Cycle of Plants


This lesson plan provides students with evidence that all living things grow and change as they progress through their life cycle.


  • Understand that plants have a life cycle that includes sprouting; developing roots, stems, leaves, and flowers; reproducing; and eventually dying
  • Observe the changes that occur during plant growth and development
  • Understand that the life cycle of plants is different from the life cycle of animals
  • Sequence the stages of plant life

Link to lesson plan:


All of the activities detailed in this lesson plan can be done with visually impaired students if teachers adapt them using Resources for Teaching and Adapting Lessons for Students with Visual Impairments. Tactile models and braille materials will be key and all of the activities will require more time for repeated tactical exploration and expression. The Seed to Flower video may be too fast-paced for some students and may require repeat viewings. Also, if students have not yet been expressly taught abut the life cycle of animals or humans, it may be best to stay focused on developing a deep understanding of the plant life cycle.

These five activities were adapted or developed by Perkins’ teachers as part of this lesson on the life cycle of plants.

Introduction to Scientific Inquiry

Introduce students to the process of scientific inquiry through an examination of the difference and similarities in types of seeds.

Suggested time:
Two thirty-minute periods

A braille copy of the process of scientific inquiry for each student
An apple, orange, or peach for each child
Paper plates and plastic knives


  1. Have student take turns reading the steps involved in scientific inquiry.
  2. Give each child an apple to hold.
  3. Ask each child to write down the answers to the following questions.
  4. How many seeds do you think are inside?

a. Do you think all apples have the same number of seeds? b. Do you think all the seeds are the same size?

  1. Help children cut into the apple and find the answers to the above questions.
  2. Discuss this process of scientific inquiry — observation, hypothesis, experiment
  3. Repeat the process with an orange. Discuss whether information from the previous experiment helped them make more informed guesses to the questions.
    Repeat the process with a peach. Discuss the differences and similarities between the seeds found in different fruits or vegetables.

The Germinator
In a video segment from ZOOM, students learn how to create a "germinator," a contraption that lets them conduct their own germination experiment.


  1. Understand how a seed germinates, producing roots and shoots to become a plant.
  2. Use the scientific method of observing and documenting changes over time.

Suggested time:
One thirty-minute period with twice-weekly check-ins.

Seeds, paper towel, stapler, plastic bag, water, braille ruler, and Wikki Stix or clay,


  1. Have students listen to the Germinator video (use the alternate version with audio description).
  2. Give each student materials to conduct the experiment in the video.
  3. Ask each student to measure seeds with the braille ruler before putting them in the plastic and document it in their journal
  4. Using Wikki Stix or clay, ask students to make a representation of the seed and braille the measurement.
  5. After the seed has sprouted, ask each student to measure the sprout with braille ruler and document it in their journal.
  6. Using Wikki Stix or Clay, ask students to make representation of sprout and braille the measurement.

Creating a 3-D Model of a Plant Life Cycle

Students create a 3-D model of the germination of a bean seed, providing students with an opportunity to make a symbolic representation of the germination process.


  1. Understand that a real plant and its parts can be represented by symbols
  2. Sequence the stages of the germination of a bean plant
  3. Participation in a cooperative lesson
  4. Participation in choice making

Suggested time:
Two thirty-minute periods


  1. A piece of tri-wall (thick cardboard) in the shape of a circle with a diameter of 14”
  2. Lazy Susan with a 14” diameter
  3. Several real beans seeds and various textured materials to represent the different stages of the germination process: bean seed, root, shoot, leaves, buds, flowers and beans.
  4. Wax Strings by Klutz or Sticky Wicks
  5. Braille and large print labels
  6. Pipe cleaners
  7. Wall mounting material or tape
  8. Bean Seed Overlays from the Sense of Science: Plants Kit.


  1. Explain to the students that they will be creating a model of the germination of a bean.
  2. Review the stages of the germination process using the overlays and real plants.
  3. Ask questions about the sequence of the germination process. Provide a braille and large print copy of the stages of the germination process to each student.
  4. Determine how germination begins.
  5. After examining the various textures available, have students decide which texture should be used to represent each stage. Ex: pipe cleaners were used to represent the roots of the plants.
  6. Allow each student to add something to the model in turn.
  7. Match each stage to labels.
  8. Discuss how symbols are used to represent parts of the germination process. Equate it to other symbols that they use.
  9. Secure model to the top of the Lazy Susan and spin the model to demonstrate the germination cycle repeats itself over and over again.

Creating 3-D model of the germination of a bean is a great culminating activity to do with all students. Each student contributed to the model. We used real bean seeds to start and then added new parts using textured materials to demonstrate the germination process. We started with the bean seed followed by a root, a shoot, leaves, buds and flowers. The students used Wax Strings by Klutz for the arrows to indicate the flow of the process. Braille and large print labels were added for clarification.

Supermarket Botany

Students learn to categorize common foods like carrots, asparagus, lettuce, oranges, and peanuts into plant parts: edible roots, stems, leaves, fruits, flowers, or seeds.

Based on TD interactive activity: http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/lsps07.sci.life.oate.plantparts/

Suggested time:
One thirty-minute period

Velcro board, index cards with pictures and written and brailled words, data chart


  1. Show students the Velcro board with the following headings in print and braille: roots, stems, seeds, leaves, flowers, and fruits.
  2. Give each student 3-4 cards with pictures of food and the written word in both print and braille.
  3. Students read their cards and place them under the right heading
  4. The group reviews and charts the results on graph paper.

Plant Parts: Matching Game and Bingo

Reinforce the names of parts of plants and the different size, shape and feel of each part in different types of plants.

Suggested Time:
One thirty-minute period


  • Examples of the parts of plants for each student: stems, leaves, seeds, roots, flowers, etc. (If possible, have students collect parts of plants or trees to use in lesson.)
  • Braille cards of the parts of plants for each student
  • Braille bingo boards prepared with the vocabulary used in this unit.
  • Velcro board for each student.


  1. Tape examples of the different parts of a plant to each child’s Velcro board.
  2. Give each student braille cards of the parts of plants. Ask them to match the word to the corresponding part on their Velcro board.
  3. Swap the boards with students who have parts from different species (for example: oak leaf, acorn, or maple seed)
  4. Discuss with students the similarities and differences.
  5. Reinforce vocabulary introduced in the lesson by using braille bingo boards. Give children the definition and have them place a chip on the appropriate braille word. Example: Put a chip on the word for the part of the plant that grows down or under the ground.

Links to Lesson Plans