Discovering Plants: A First Grade Plant Unit

We are about to discover plants in first grade and I couldn’t be more excited.  I have been working around the clock to update this first grade plant unit, which is one of my very first products.  Let me tell you, it was in such need that I actually made it inactive until it was done.  I couldn’t be more proud of the results which makes me even more excited to share this with my first grade friends.  If you already own this plant unit file – HUGE BONUS.  You will get the update for free! The file went from 27 pages to 155!
discovering plants first grade plants unit
To begin, I looked closely at what our science standards are in first grade and what I wanted to cover.  I am running out of time so I will be using these materials over the next few weeks.  We will begin by learning the parts of a plant.  I have created a mini booklet to teach these parts as well as some colorful posters to display in the classroom.
plant parts posters and mini book for first grade plant unit
A perfect read aloud for this first grade plant unit is “Tops & Bottoms” by Janet Stevens. I love to bring in fiction when teaching a non-fiction unit.   This book is not only funny, but the pictures are amazing too. Here are the activities we will complete.
Tops & Bottoms book companion activities for first grade plant unit
I also made a cute little craft to help the children diagram and create the parts of a plant.

craft for first grade plant unit

We will also be eating different parts of the plant too.
After we have this concept down, we will move on to plant needs.  We will learn what a plant needs in order to grow and survive.  We will cover the concept of living things as a science standard. I have also created a mini book to teach this concept as well as colorful posters to display.
plant needs posters and mini book for first grade plant unit
Then, we will move on to the parts of a flower.  A great book to teach this is “From Seed to Plant” by Gail Gibbons.  If you haven’t discovered this author, you need to.  Her informative texts are perfect for all of our non-fiction units. We will complete an anticipation guide to see what we think first.  After reading the story we will see what we learned.  Then we will look at the parts of a flower and label the flower.

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons activities for first grade plant unit

We talk about the lifecycle of a plant as well. I created a mini book to teach this concept.  I also put a colorful cycle that you could use to display, review, or as a center choice.  There are 3 different options to assess this concept too.  They can just glue the pictures, glue pictures and words, or glue the pictures and write a story.  You can see them below.
lifecycle of a plant for grade 1
In addition to these three main concepts, we will be completing several different science experiments.  I made these simple and they are definitely flexible in how you complete the recordings.
science experiments for first grade plant unit
What experiments are included in this first grade plant unit?  There is an experiment where students look closely at a bean (seed), plant a seed with observation journals, stem/water experiment, and a plant comparison.
Here is a closer look at the bean experiment.
bean experiment for first grade plant unit to teach parts of a seed
There are also lots of opportunities for writing and word work.  Some of these will be completed during whole group but I will also include some during my Daily 5 rotations.
writing activities for first grade plant unit
word work for first grade plant unit
These word cards will also be displayed for the students as a reference in the writing center.
I love to share other literature with my students as we go through this plant unit so I also recommend and have resources to go with “Growing Vegetable Soup” by Ehlert, “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle, & “How a Seed Grows” by Helene Jordan. You can check out any of the books mentioned in this post by clicking on the book title links to view them on Amazon.  (As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Finally, we end this plant unit with this cute little watering can flower bouquet.  This would also be a cute gift to make for Mother’s Day as well.
flower pot craft for first grade plant unit
Thanks for reading all about my updated plant unit!  Check it out below!


first grade plants unit by megan mitchell

If you’re looking for similar units check out my blog post all about Insect Activities for First Grade.
As always, love what you do and do what you love.


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I’m Megan, a first grade teacher and a mother to 7 amazing children. I love to create and collaborate with teachers. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, baking and playing tennis.

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