Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Leaf, a Stem, a Root, Oh My!

Michele Ludick
Colleges and Universities - Florida


Students identify parts of a plant using a graphic organizer.


The student organizes information into a simple pictograph or concrete graph.


-White construction paper, newsprint, or other heavy, light-colored paper
-Colored pencils, markers, crayons
-Computers or computer lab
-Access to Websites (See Weblinks)
-Vegetables for salad that represent at least one of each part of a plant (for example, tomatoes=fruit, lettuce=leaves, celery=stem, carrots=roots)
-Salad bowl
-Paper plates
-Sharp knife for cutting vegetables (can be done at home)
-Large spoon for serving salad
-Salad dressing


1. Preview Websites (See Weblinks) and then bookmark the sites on the computers.
2. A class list can be sent home to collect the desired vegetables as well as the forks, plates and salad dressing.
3. Prepare art supplies (if not already at students' desks) for WebQuest activity and student-generated graphic organizers.
4. Create a space to be used to construct the class salad.
5. Determine which plant parts will be instructed and assessed. (The current rubric focuses on the root, leaf, stem, and fruit, but the Websites include the flower and seed parts as well.)
6. Have one of each part of the plant to display for students.
7. Precut vegetables if desired.
8. Download the Rubric for Plant Graphic Organizer and the Plant Graphic Organizer template. (See Associated File)
9. Make any necessary adjustments to the rubric and template once you've determined the plant parts to instruct and assess. (See Procedures, steps #10-11)


1. Ask students what they know about plants.

2. Explain that plants have different parts (leaf, stem, root, fruit, etc.) and that each part has a job.

3. Ask students if they know what the parts are called and the specific job of each part (i.e., roots gather food from the soil).

4. Review the parts and each part's job.

5. Using the vegetables, ask students to tell you what part of the plant it is and what job it does.

6. Tell students they will be using the computer to complete their assignment on plants and their parts.

7. Use the first Website (See Weblinks) to review the parts of the plant. Note: In addition to the leaf, stem, root, and fruit, this Website includes the flower part of the plant (i.e., broccoli).

8. Explain the second Website which is a WebQuest. (See Weblinks) Note: In addition to the leaf, stem, root, fruit, and flower, this Website includes the seed part of the plant.

9. Students may work in groups for the WebQuest. (This activity may also require your supervision if they have never worked with this type of program before.) Establish groups based on the number of students and the number of computers that are available. If your class does not have computers, use your school's computer lab if possible.

10. Once each group has completed the WebQuest, regroup and start constructing your salad. (Determine ahead of time which parts of the plant are required for the salad. The rubric provided in the associated file includes the root, leaf, stem, and fruit parts. However, the flower and seed parts can be added to the rubric if desired.)

11. Tell students they will be using a graphic organizer to present their information. Using the graphic organizer provided (See Associated File), show students how they will use each box to place the information about each part of the plant and that part's job. Model one box with the students to demonstrate how to place the information. (Be sure to adjust the graphic organizer for the number of plant parts required for the salad.)

12. Have students create a graphic organizer to display their salad, parts of the plants that make up the salad, and the job each part has. Note: The Plant Graphic Organizer template can be copied for student use (See Associated File) or students can use art supplies to create their own graphic organizer.


There are two assessments for this lesson. The first is built into the WebQuest the students will be using. Then assess the student's graphic organizer using the rubric in the associated file.


1. Grow a vegetable garden at your school.
2. Locate a local farmer to come in and speak to the class about growing plants.
3. Contact the local agricultural department and request a speaker for the class.
4. Plan a field trip to a local farm.

Web Links

Web supplement for A Leaf, a Stem, a Root , Oh My!
Vegetable Quiz

Web supplement for A Leaf, a Stem, a Root , Oh My!
Web Quest

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