Lesson Plan for 7th Grade Life Science
55 Minute Class (M-F)
Angiosperms (Flowering Plants)
In this lesson, students will be able to (SWBAT):
● Describe the parts of a flower and explain their functions, including the:
○ Stamen (including the anther and filament)
○ Pistil (including the stigma, the style, and the ovary)
● Dissect an actual flower and identify its structures (and their functions). Students may also
reassemble their flowers, labeling their structures and their functions.
● Compare/Contrast the structures of different species of flowers, and make
inferences on the relationships between structure, function, and adaptation to their environment.
This lesson (dissection) is designed to give the students practice in identifying the structures of a flower on an actual specimen (as opposed to a picture in a textbook). When students get a chance to observe the real thing, including similar structures in different species of flowers, they develop a better understanding of the commonalities that they share, as well as the variation and diversity that occur in nature. By taking apart the flower with their own hands, the visual, kinesthetic, and tactile elements of learning are strongly emphasized. In terms of Bloom’s taxonomy, this lesson uses real life examples of flowers to apply the concepts they have already learned. By comparing and contrasting two different flowers, students are using analytical reasoning. They are also using synthetic reasoning when they hypothesize how different variations of structures might be best suited for a particular environment or condition.
California Content Standards:
1. All living organisms are composed of cells, from just one to many trillions, whose details usually are visible only t
through a microscope. As a basis for understanding this concept:
b. Students know the characteristics that distinguish plant cells from
animal cells, including chloroplasts and cell walls.
d. Students know that mitochondria liberate energy for the work that cells
do, and that chloroplasts capture sunlight energy for
5. The anatomy and physiology of plants and animals illustrates the
complementary nature of structure and function. As a basis for understanding this
a. Students know plants and animals have levels of organization for
structure and function, including cells, tissues, organs, organ
systems, and the whole organism.
b. Students know organ systems function because of the contributions of
individual organs, tissues, and cells. The failure of any part can
affect the entire system.
f. Students know the structures and processes by which flowering plants
generate pollen, ovules, seeds, and fruit.
Student Prior Knowledge:
The students should already know that flowers are the reproductive structures in Angiosperms. They should have a basic understanding of the parts of the flower, as well as their role in the reproductive cycle (including pollination and fertilization). This lesson is designed as an application of their knowledge, not as a first introduction. The students should also have a developing awareness of the relationship between form and function, which will be illustrated in the variety of flowers they observe.
● A Variety of Flowers (preferably both wild and cultivated)
○ For beginners, select flowers with structures that are easy to identify,
and that correspond closely with the textbook (lilies are a common
○ For more advanced students, you may select more challenging flowers,
with structures that differ somewhat from those illustrated in the text. This will expose them to the variety of structural designs that are present in nature, and give them a more realistic appreciation of
the natural diversity and adaptations.
● Hand Lenses (Magnifying Lenses) for Investigating Details
● Science Journals (to Record Observations)
● Scissors or Scalpels (Scalpels are not necessary in most cases- Cuticle
scissors work well)
● Posterboard, for Mounting Re-assembled Specimens
● Glue Sticks
● Pens & Markers for Labeling
1. Begin by reviewing what the students already know about flowers. This may
include the parts of the flower, as well as their functions. You may also
discuss the stages of the reproductive cycle, including pollination and
fertilization. Students should know that there are male flowers, female
flowers, and “perfect flowers”, which contain both male and female
2. Students may write “connections” in their journals, where they describe some
of their experiences and associations with flowers. They may share these
with the class. The teacher should guide the students by relating these
experiences to concepts such as similarities (common features) between
different species, as well as the diversity that exists in nature.
3. The teacher can show examples of flowers that illustrate the variety found in
nature, as well as the idea that not all flowers are pleasant-smelling. This
is a good time to make inferences as to why these flowers are different,
and what purposes their differences might serve. How are they adapted to
their environment? What might pollinate them? (A classic example is the
corpse flower, which smells like rotten flesh, and is pollinated by….flies).
4. The students should now be primed to not only dissect the flowers, but
observe and analyze them within the conceptual framework of
“form determines function”.
5. Distribute the flowers, scissors, hand lenses, and other equipment.
6. Begin the dissection. The instructor can lead the dissection using the
document projector, or, the students can perform the dissection
independently. The students should:
● Remove the sepals and petals from the flower.
● Remove the stamens, (filament with anthers).
● Remove the pistil, (stigma, style, and ovary).
7. Students may also illustrate their flowers in their science journals, and
compare/contrast two different varieties of flowers. What structures do
they share in common? How many petals do the flower have? How many
stamens? Are the anthers large or small? Can you see pollen?
8. Students will reconstruct their dissected flower using the posterboard and
glue. They should label all the parts, and describe the function of each.
1.Why do you think flowers are different colors? What is the significance of the
Answer: Petals with different colors are often pollinated by different species.
Hummingbirds tend to be attracted to red flowers, while bees often pollinate
yellow and blue flowers, as they can see well in the portion of the spectrum.
2. Many flowers have their male and female structures far away from each other.
What do you think would be the effect of this structural arrangement?
What consequences would it have for the plant?
Answer: Having the male and female parts away from each other makes it less
likely that the plants will self-pollinate. Generally speaking, plants (and other
species) are healthier when they cross-pollinate, rather than self-pollinate, as this
increases their genetic diversity.
3. Other than being pretty, what significance do flowers have in our everyday
lives? How are they important to humans?
Answer: The vast majority of plant foods that humans eat come from flowering
plants or Angiosperms. All the major grain crops, such as corn, wheat, rice, and
oats, as well as all the fruits we consume, are produced from flowering plants.
Pollinators, such as honeybees, are also, therefore, very important for agricultural
Applications to Everyday Life:
Flowering plants are important part of ecosystems around the world. They serve not only as major food sources for humans, but for the majority of other living organisms as well. The fruit, seeds, nectar, leaves, and other parts of flowering plants provide the basis for many organisms’ diet. These animals, in turn, often serve as the food source for predatory species higher up the food chain. Flowering plants, therefore, are the base of the food pyramid around the world. Without them, we could not survive.