In this unit, students explore how plants have different parts that help them get what they need to survive from the environment. They begin with experiments that investigate the cause-and-effect relationship between water, light, and the ability of plants to grow. This page is a high-level extract of the second lesson in which students explore flowers. Students dissect flowers to explore the role of seed production in a plant’s ability to make new plants.

Science Background for Teachers:

The science background gives teachers in-depth information of the phenomena being studied in this unit. It helps teachers be prepared to facilitate a Socratic dialogue with students surrounding the topic being explored - in this case, flowers.

Flowers have different parts. Stamens are the male part of the flower. Each stamen has two parts—an anther and a filament. The anthers make pollen, which is a fine powder, and the filaments hold up the anthers. The pistil is the female part of the flower where the seeds are made. It is made up of the stigma, the style, and the ovary. The stigma is sticky so that it can catch grains of pollen. The style (the neck) supports the stigma. When the flower is pollinated, the pollen sticks to the stigma and travels down the style to the ovary. Here, the pollen joins with the ovules, and the ovules become seeds. This way of plants making new seeds is called pollination.

In some flowers, the petals have special lines that steer pollinators toward the center of the flower where the pollen is. Many flowering plants depend on animals called pollinators for pollination. As insects and birds eat, they become covered in pollen. In order for seed creation to take place, most plants require that pollen from one plant must end up on another plant. The transfer of pollen from one plant to another is called cross-pollination.

Supports Grade 2

Science Lesson: Exploring Flowers

In the previous lesson, students analyzed what plants need to survive. In this lesson, they explore the relationship between the structure and function of a lily by dissecting one. They use their observations to help them construct an explanation about why many plants depend on animals called pollinators for making seeds. 

Science Big Ideas

  • Flowers have different parts, and each part has a specific role in making seeds.  
  • Pollination is the way that some plants make new seeds.

Sample Unit CTA-2
Discover Complete Hands-on Screens-off Core Science Curriculum for K-8 Classrooms

Prepared hands-on materials, full year grade-specific curriculum, and personalized live professional development designed to support mastery of current state science standards.

Science Essential Questions

  • Why do flowers make pollen? Where is pollen made in a flower?
  • Where are seeds made in a flower?
  • Why is the top part of the pistil, called a stigma, sticky?
  • Why does the pistil need the style (the middle part of the pistil)?
  • Why do bees love flowers like lilies?
  • Why do bees become covered in pollen?  
  • Why is it good for flowers that pollen sticks to bees?
  • What would happen to plants if there were no bees or other pollinators?  

Common Science Misconceptions

Misconception: Plants are not alive because they don’t move.
Fact: Plants are alive, and they need air, water, and sunlight to survive.
Misconception: Plants need sunlight to stay warm.
Fact: Unlike animals, plants need sunlight because they make their own food from sunlight through photosynthesis.
Misconception: Plants get water from their leaves.
Fact: Plants take in water through their roots.

Science Vocabulary

Flower:  the part of the plant that makes seeds

Leaf: the part of the plant that takes in sunlight and makes food

Pollen: a fine powder that flowers make

Pollination: the way some plants make new seeds

Roots:  the parts of a plant that grow under the ground; hold the plant in place; take in nutrients and water from the soil

Seed: a young plant inside a protective coat

stem – the part of a plant that holds the leaves and flowers in place; water and nutrients travel through the stem to the rest of the plant

Lexile(R) Certified Non-Fiction Science Reading (Excerpt)

Popular Lilies

Many people love lilies. Lilies are flowering plants. They are common in gardens. They are also common in bouquets. Lilies have large, colorful petals. Bees love lilies too. Lilies make nectar. Nectar is a sugary liquid. Bees eat the nectar for food.


Flowers Make Pollen

Bees have to reach into the flower to get nectar. This causes pollen to get on their bodies. Pollen is a fine powder that flowers make. Flowers need pollen to make seeds.

Pollen is made in a part of the flower called the stamen. The stamen has two parts: the anther and the filament. The anther makes the pollen. The filament holds up the anther.


Making Seeds

The pollen has to move from the stamens to another part of the flower called the pistil. Seeds are made in the pistil.

Pistils have three parts. They have a stigma, a style, and an ovary. The stigma is at the top of the pistil. It is sticky. This is so it can trap and hold pollen.


Hands-on Science Activity

For the hands-on activity of this lesson, students dissect a flower to then develop a model, using the dissected parts, to describe how a flowering plant has different parts that allow it to make seeds so it can reproduce and produce new plants. Once students complete their dissection, they come together as a class, using their observations and their model to analyze the relationship between a flower’s reproductive structures and the importance of pollination.

Science Assessments

KnowAtom incorporates formative and summative assessments designed to make students thinking visible for deeper student-centered learning.

  • Vocabulary Check
  • Lab Checkpoints
  • Concept Check Assessment 
  • Concept Map Assessment 
  • And More...


Science Standards

See How KnowAtom Aligns to NGSS Science Standards

Discover hands-on screens-off core science curriculum for student centered K-8 classrooms. KnowAtom supports classrooms with all hands-on materials, curriculum, and professional development to support mastery of the standards.

Download the Alignment to NGSS

Standards citation: NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Neither WestEd nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.