Preschool botany lesson part 3 – dissecting a flower

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If you’ve been following along, you know that I have been sharing activities related to some preschool botany lessons I recently did with my kids. In part 3 of our preschool botany series, I am sharing an activity in which we dissected a tulip in order to do some hands-on learning about the parts of a flower.

Note: For more botany lessons for kids of all ages, see my botany unit study page. 

Preschool botany: Dissecting a flower #science #handsonlearning || Gift of Curiosity

I purchased two tulips from our local florist one afternoon. (In hindsight I would have purchased gladiolas instead, as they would have been better for showing the various parts.)

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

Because Grandmum was a middle school science teacher, I invited her over to help with this lesson. She showed us a cool trick for displaying the parts of the flower.

I cut a piece of card stock in half. Then we cut a piece of tape longer than the card stock was wide. We secured one end of the tape to the table, then butted the card stock up against it. Next, we laid the tape – sticky side up – across the card stock and folded it under the other side. We then folded the tape down to stick the end to the table again. This resulted in a strip of tape – sticky side up – secured across the card stock.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

Then each kid got a flower and we tore off the leaves and talked about what they were called.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

QBoy and XGirl each tore the top part of their leaf and secured it to their tape.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

Then we took off the petals and looked at their properties and discussed their name.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

The petals got added to the strip of tape right next to the leaf.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

Once the petals were off, we had a very good view of the pistol and the stamen. One flower had yellow stamen and the other had stamen that were a deep purple color. The stamen are the “male” part of the flower since they contain the pollen. The pistol is the “female” part of the flower since it contains the eggs that get fertilized by the pollen.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

The kids added the stamens to their strip of tape.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

We noticed that a lot of pollen came off the yellow stamen and fell on to our table.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

We talked about how the pollen needs to go down the pistol to reach the eggs. The kids touched the pistol to the stamens to simulate what needs to happen for the flowers to reproduce.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

After all the flower parts were taped down, the kids used a magnifying glass to look more closely at the various parts.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

Finally, we slipped the card stock out from under the tape and then put it down on top of the tape (so that the flower parts were between the tape and the card stock). Grandmum and I took the ends of the tape from the table and secured them to the card stock.

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

Then we turned the cards over, and voila! The kids had a lovely card with all their flower parts!

Dissecting a flower || Gift of Curiosity

More botany resources for kids

More botany posts from Gift of Curiosity:

For more botany activities for kids of all ages, see my Botany Unit Study page and my Botany Pinterest Board. 

Follow Katie @ Gift of Curiosity’s board Botany Unit Study on Pinterest.


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  1. says

    Found you through Happy and Blessed Home Link Up. Love your idea for teaching botany. I’ve got two girls (3 and 1) that would love this project. They are “dissecting” flowers in our back yard all the time. It’s just that usually not ones I want them too! Thanks for sharing, happy to be a new follower. – Penny Lane @ Sisters Raising Sisters

  2. says

    What a really good idea – and to start with flower parts so young will really help them when it gets more complicated when they are older.

    Thank you for linking up with Motivational Monday

  3. says

    What a fabulous hands-on lesson! I love how they are discovering the parts of a flower while laying the framework for so many more lessons! Thanks for linking this up at Teach Me Tuesday on Preschool Powol Packets!

  4. says

    So many wonderful things about this lesson — hands-on learning about a topic kids love, science exploration, fine motor skills, art, etc!! I have already pinned it and am so excited to try this both at home and in the classroom.

    • says

      I hope your kids – both at home and in your classroom – have as much with this as we did. Thanks for featuring our activity on Stress-Free Sunday!

  5. says

    This is such a wonderful way to teach kids about the parts of a flower!! Thanks for linking to Share It Saturday. I featured your post this morning.


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