Plant Parts and Their Functions

Submitted by Terri Geffert

Language: Spanish
Unit Cultural Theme or
Academic Content Area:


Target Audience:

Immersion Elementary
Grade: 2

Proficiency Level:

Novice High



1.1, 1.3







Lesson Timeframe:

Four 25 minute sessions

Lesson Overview:

Students will learn about the parts of plants and their functions.

Lesson Context:

The lessons are designed to be carried out in a station format. That is, students will rotate daily through stations in groups of 6-8 students. Each small group completes one activity per day. To help prepare the students for the station activities, the teacher sets the stage as follows. On the whiteboard at the front of the classroom, draw a square divided into four parts. Each part lists a station activity. On top of this square, post a paper circle. The circle is also divided into four parts and lists the names of people in each of four groups. Rotate the circle clockwise each day throughout the grid until each group has completed all of the activities.

The stations are located in various parts of the classroom. At each station is a plastic bin that contains all of the materials necessary to complete the station activity (worksheets, maps, visuals, etc.) as well as a folder for storing completed work.

At the beginning of the year, students worked extensively on station expectations (low voice levels, quality work, leaving a station as clean as it was found, using the immersion language). During the second half of the year, students use a "passport" system at stations to encourage use of the target language. Each student has a paper passport with flags of countries where Spanish is spoken. They receive stamps on the flags when either a chosen student monitor or the teacher observes consistent use of Spanish that day.


Students will...

  • identify the 6 main parts of plants (root, stem, leaf, flower, seed, fruit)
  • explain the functions of these 6 plant parts
  • identify at least 2 roots, 2 stems, 2 leaves, and 2 fruits that we eat
  • identify the origin (old world vs. new world) of selected plants

    Students will...

  • explore the interchange of plants between the Old World and the New World

    Language: Content Obligatory
    Students will...

  • use the appropriate words in describing plant parts and their function (ex: raiz, tallo, aspiradora, pajilla)
  • use the phrase "Es la/el ..." to identify and classify plant parts
  • use the phrase "Es como un/una ..." to write similes to describe the plant parts
  • use descriptive words to write similes
  • use at least 8 terms to identify some plants (and their parts) that we eat (zanahoria-raiz, lechuga-hoja, fresa-fruta)

    Language: Content Compatible
    Students will...

  • Use the following phrase to classify plant parts: "Yo creo que es ...".

    Learning Strategies / Social and Skills Development:
    Students will...

  • work cooperatively in groups at each station

  • Time Frame:

    Four 25 minute sessions

    Materials Needed:

    There should be enough materials at each station for up to 8 students.

    Station 1

  • Hyperstudio (computer software) teacher presentation
  • Worksheet to check comprehension
  • Folder to collect student work

    Station 2

  • Large drawing of a plant (posted on wall or bulletin board)
  • Small pictures or drawings of plants we eat (with masking tape on back)
  • Answer key
  • Student worksheets with same large drawing and plant pictures
  • Folder to collect student work

    Station 3

  • Two large pieces of mural paper
  • List of plants (in Spanish) from the "old" and "new world"
  • A variety of Spanish picture dictionaries

    Station 4

  • Examples of plant parts we eat: roots (radishes, carrots), stems (celery, asparagus), leaves (lettuce, cabbage), seeds (peanuts, sunflower seeds)
  • Jeweler's loupes or magnifying glasses for each student
  • Colored pencils and paper for each student

  • Description of Assessment (Performance Project):

    Station 1
    [Note: I am fortunate enough to have four computers in my classroom, so in the group of 6-8 students, are paired at each computer in Station 1. I have created a presentation using a Hyperstudio stack that shows the parts of a plant and their function.] The stack uses similes for each plant part (ex: the roots are like a vacuum because they suck the water out of the earth). It also shows examples of each plant part that we eat (ex: carrots, radishes, beets as roots). At this station, students work with a partner to view the stack, which contains some cards that require students to answer certain questions before advancing in the stack. The pairs then complete a worksheet (provided in attachments) to check their comprehension. Finally, students view the stack a second time to check their worksheet responses. The Hyperstudio stack can be downloaded from the Attachments section below.

    Station 2
    At this station, students have a large poster of a plant showing the 6 main parts. Students work as a group to place the pictures of the plants we eat next to the correct plant part on the poster. As they place a picture, they use the phrase "Yo creo que es....." For example, a student might have a picture of a carrot and state "I think it's a root" as s/he places the picture next to the root on the poster.

    After the group has classified each plant on the poster, they check their answers with the key and make corrections as necessary. They then use the poster as a guide as they create their own mini versions of the poster. Their mini-versions are collected in the work folder and later sent home to be shared with parents.

    Station 3
    Before completing the work at this station, students will already have participated in a whole-group discussion about Christopher Columbus and the "Día de la raza." Students will have some familiarity with the interchanges that occurred between the "old world" (Europe) and the "new world" (The Americas). In this station, students will divide into two groups (old and new) and each will have to create a mural showing the plants that originated in each geographic region. Each group will use the list of words (provided in Spanish) to illustrate on their mural the plants that originated in each part of the world. If a word is unknown to them, they will use the Spanish picture dictionaries. Students need to illustrate the plants and identify them in writing. Murals could be displayed in the hallway or other showcase location.

    Here are some of the plants that students need to classify according to their geographic origin: potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, avocados, peanuts, pumpkins, beans, sunflowers, onions, lettuce, peaches, pears, watermelons, bananas, olives, tulips, daisies, dandelions, vanilla, chocolate, corn, wheat, and sugar cane. See "Attachments" for a complete list and categorization.

    Station 4
    The teacher should be at this station to review the parts of a plant and their Spanish names. S/he should then show some authentic examples of each of these parts. Students will use jeweler's loupes or magnifying glasses to look closely at these plant parts, and then will draw what they see with colored pencils. After drawing, students will write similes to describe what they see (ex: Es como la nariz de una bruja. It's like a witch's nose.). During a later class activity, students will share the similes that they have created with their classmates. They will read their similes, and classmates will try to guess which plant they are describing.


    Assessment is built into Stations 1 and 2, with materials provided for students to check their work. The teacher should also check their work to verify that students have understood the content. In Station 3, the teacher should check students' work, and students will get 1 point for every correct answer placed on the mural. The quality of students' similes (Station 4) should be assessed with a rubric (Provided in "Attachments").

    References and Resources:

    Ruef, Kerry. (1993). The Private Eye: Looking/Thinking by Analogy - A Guide to Developing the Interdisciplinary Mind. The Private Eye Project: Lyle, WA, 240 pages. Order form:


    NOTE: some attachments are in PDF form (get Acrobat Reader)

    Station 1:
    HyperStudio Stack - Station 1
    You can find Mac or PC players on the HS site:

    Worksheet for HS stack comprehension

    Station 3:
    Comparison of Old World - New World

    Station 4:
    Rubric for Similes