In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about plant adaptations. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Plant Adaptations topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching Plant Adaptations
Observe how plants will grow toward a light source. If possible, bring seeds for students to plant in pots. Have students research the type of plant and what it needs to survive. How much water does it need? What kind of soil does the plant need? Then place the plants near—but not too close to—a sunny window. You may want to use a grow lamp if a sunny window is not available. Have students observe how the plant changes and grows. You can assign students to care for the plant and have them draw pictures or take photographs to track the plant’s progress. Watch how the plant grows toward the light source!
Needs for Seeds
Have students save the seeds of every fruit they eat during the week. They can collect apple seeds, orange seeds, or even an avocado seed. Encourage them to collect as many different seeds as possible. Then have students compare and contrast their seeds. Why might some seeds be small? Why might others be large? Why might a watermelon have many seeds while an apple has just a few? Why might a strawberry have seeds on the outside? Discuss these adaptations together, perhaps creating a class display that can be added to throughout the year. You can also store each seed type and a short summary of student observations about it in a zip-close bag, stapling the bags together to create a book. This activity also encourages healthy eating habits!
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Plant Adaptations
Take a walk around with your child around your community or a park. Look for seeds that have fallen off of plants. You might even find seedpods or fruit protecting seeds inside. Pick up a few samples, if possible, or have your child document them by drawing pictures or taking photographs. Compare the seeds and note any adaptations that assist in their dispersal or protect them from the elements. You may want to research to find out what plants the seeds come from.
Explore underwater plants with your child. Research how water lilies have adapted to life in ponds. Where do their roots go? You can also expand this topic to explore plants that live in the ocean, such as seagrasses. How are these plants adapted to life in the ocean? How do they use saltwater? Where do they get their nutrients? How are they adapted to rising and falling currents? How do they reproduce? Your findings might surprise you! You may also want to explore how aquatic plants are vital to ecosystems and provide homes for different animals.