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Plant Life Cycle Activities

Spring is such a great time to start exploring some new science topics. One of my favorite topics to dive into is the plant life cycle. Kids LOVE learning about plants because it is so relatable to their world. As a teacher, I love any topic that requires minimal coaxing for student engagement and the plant life cycle certainly fits the bill! Today I am bringing you my all-time favorite plant life cycle activities!

Introduce The Plant Life Cycle

Before we start any new unit, I always go through my books and select a few for read-aloud time. I find that reading books aloud in the classroom is a great way to illustrate a new topic to my students. Some of my favorites for learning about the Plant Life Cycle include:

These books all provide a great background for the children on how the plant life cycle works. I especially love Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. In my Plant Life Cycle Unit, you will find a fun sorting activity, student worksheet, and group activity to accompany this book. If you don’t have it, check out this read-aloud video from YouTube.

Additionally, I also make sure to put out a few planting and garden-based storybooks on my student shelf as well. I like to swap out a bin of seasonal books that the kiddos have access to whenever we start a new unit. This really helps keep them engaged and excited about reading!


The best place to start with any new topic is vocabulary. I always start the plant unit with vocabulary lessons to introduce my students to the terms we will be using. I love to display the mini-posters and vocabulary cards on my board as a visual for our time studying plants. This will make for a quick and easy reference for the students as they complete the activities!

In the unit, you will find there are plenty of activities for students to familiarize themselves with plant vocabulary. Start off with the labeling activity that matches the mini-poster and then dive into the included vocabulary word definition worksheets. In this activity, students will write the word, illustrate it and define it! You will also find a “needs and parts” sorting activity to make sure students understand the difference.

There is also a silly song included that I highly recommend adding to your lessons! I have always found that music and movement is a great way to incorporate serious learning in the early years. This song will help your students remember the names of each part of the plant and get some wiggles out too! Finish off your vocabulary work with the included “Parts of a Plant” mini-book. Students love coloring in the pictures of these books and naming each part of the plant.


I just love early elementary writing. Once students start to get the hang of putting together sentences, it is so much fun to see their work progress! I have included plenty of writing activities in this unit with varied skill levels to provide differentiation to your group. Pick and choose the activities that work best for your students!

Personally, I love to start out with the “Plants Are/Have/Give” writing activity. This is a great way to brainstorm as a class and make this a whole group activity. I will usually have students work at their desks for this one and jot ideas for each category on the board as students volunteer their ideas. I always provide an example for each to get them started, but it doesn’t take long for the kiddos to get the hang of it.

Also included are sequencing pictures for illustrating the plant life cycle and how a plant grows in a pocket chart. I love to use these as a reminder to our students while we work on the accompanying writing activities. There are a couple of different options for these activities, so choose what works best for your group. There are also a set of black and white sequencing pictures that students can color, cut, and assemble in the correct order. These are the perfect size for gluing on a sentence strip. In the past, I’ve even made these into little crowns after they have dried!


One of my favorite things to do with my students during this study is the “colored carnation” simple science experiment.

For this, you simply put a white carnation in a glass of water with food coloring and watch as the flower changes color. Prior to starting, I like to have my students make predictions for what will happen on their recording sheets. This is a great opportunity for creativity and brainstorming!

The flower will change color over the next few hours. Once it has, have students revisit their recording sheets to write down their observations. This is also a great time to discuss why they think this happened. Science presents so many opportunities for deeper thinking and writing, so definitely include this activity if you can! You will also find 2 other recording sheets in the unit for a few other simple science activities.


Don’t forget crafts! I love crafting with my students, and they do too! Taking some time to craft is a great way to let your students express their creativity, practice fine motor skills, and take a little “brain break”. In this unit, you will find simple crafts including a lift the flap book, 3 adorable paper toppers, as well as a handprint flower.

Use the paper topper girl, boy, or flower for your kiddos to color, cut, and attach to the top of one of the writing templates. Put them all together and you have an adorable spring-themed bulletin board to show off everything your students learned about the plant life cycle.

The lift the flap book couldn’t be easier, just have your students color and cut the included pictures and assemble them to illustrate the things plants need to live. You will find a step-by-step guide that includes pictures of just how to do this. This is a quick and easy crafting opportunity for your students to work on those scissor skills and test their plant knowledge! Plus, it’s just such a cute project to send home!

If you find you have some extra time on your hands, try the handprint plant craft! For this craft, students trace their hands on different colored construction paper and add in a few other shapes to create a flower. There is a picture and specific directions on how to do this included. I recommend doing this one during small groups as a Fun Friday activity. Have your students trace, cut, and assemble their plant, and then they can add in the included labels and definitions for each part of the plant. These are always so unique and look adorable displayed on a bulletin board!


My favorite part of this whole unit is the plant journal. I love to use this for recording observations of real-life plant growth with my students. There are quite a few options for this if you would like to include a fun, hands-on classroom project! Whichever option you choose, feel free to use the included plant journal to record observations and changes with your class.


In the past, I have purchased grass seed, potting soil, and clear plastic cups for this activity and had my students each plant some seeds in their own cup.

The students place these by a sunny window and we water them each day while checking for signs of growth. This is a super cheap option and the grass typically sprouts within just a few days!

Germinate BEANS

Another idea is to try growing beans in a bag. This is also a quick process and requires only a few materials. For this you will need sandwich-size zipper bags, cotton balls (or paper towels), and beans – lima beans work really well. Soak the beans overnight in water to soften them up and plan to have about 4-5 per student to ensure each child ends up with at least one sprout. From there, your students will soak the cotton balls in water and place them in their zipper bag along with their beans. Press out the air, zip the top and label their bag with a permanent marker. Tape these up on a sunny window and watch the germination process take place! Check out this fun video, if you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial on just how to do this!


This classroom terrarium is a great addition to your window sill during your plant unit.

And finally, you can also consider purchasing a small classroom terrarium like this one. These are really fun for kids because they display the entire root system in the soil. Kids will love observing the changes of the plant and how different the top and bottom of a plant look. This option will extend your activity a bit as well! Since the plants will be in the soil, you can continue to record observations in your journal for much longer! Choose the option that suits your classroom best!

Grab Your FREEBIE!

Because I know you will love these plant life cycle activities as much as my kiddos and I do, I’m excited to offer you the Plant Journal for FREE! Grab it here!


Pin these ideas to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can find them quickly and easily when you’re ready to start your plant study!

Danielle Murphy

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