Why Are Flowers So flower articles for students Different NSTA

The flowers on the European edelweiss are covered with a thick coat of hair to protect them from the hot sun and the drying winds.
Journal writing is the process of recording personal insights, reflections, and questions on assigned or personal topics. Journal projects assigned in class may include your thoughts about daily experiences, reading assignments, current events, or science experiments. The important thing here is that the more you write down your observations and/or answer questions, the easier journaling becomes.
Why Are Flowers So flower articles for students Different NSTAWhy Are Flowers So flower articles for students Different NSTA
NSTA has created a  Why are flowers so different?  collection of resources to support teachers and families using this task. If you’re an NSTA member, you can add this collection to your library by clicking Add to My Library, located near the top of the page .
pollen —a powder-like substance in a flower that is made up of grains. Each grain functions as a capsule for carrying the male gametes of the plant;
Have the students look at all the Imaginary Garden Cards . Tell them that their job is to find one flower that their pollinator would be most attracted to, based on their observation data and the data in their Pollinator Profile card . It is important that they look not only at the picture of the flower, but also the traits listed on the card.
The NSTA Daily Do is an open educational resource and can be used by educators and families providing students distance and home science learning. Access the  entire collection of NSTA Daily Dos .
Biology Crosscutting Concepts Disciplinary Core Ideas Is Lesson Plan Life Science NGSS Phenomena Science and Engineering Practices Elementary Grade 2
National Science Teaching Association 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA 22201 703.243.7100 703.243.7177 © 2021 NSTA
Share the Flowers Seeking Pollinator Constructing Explanations Sheet and the Pollinator Profile cards .
When we look around, we can see many different types of flowers. Have you ever wondered why? In today’s task, Why are flowers so different?, students and their families engage in science and engineering practices and use the thinking tool of structure and function to make sense of the science ideas that some plants depend on animals for pollination and have specialized features for reproduction.
The smallest flowering plant in the world is thought to be a floating duckweed called common watermeal. Its leaves are only 1mm wide!
Assign each small group a pollinator: bee, bat, bird, butterfly, moth, or fly. Students can draw a name out of a hat, or you can assign them a pollinator.
Teacher Note: You will need a flower for this first activity . It is simpler to identify flower structures if you use “perfect flowers” that contain both male and female structures, such as lilies, hibiscuses, tulips, or irises. Using compound or composite flowers such as daisies and sunflowers, which are composed of many small flowers appearing as a single bloom, will make it more difficult for students to identify the different parts.
Set up an Imaginary Garden using the Imaginary Garden Cards . Teacher tip: This could be done virtually, around the classroom, or around the house.
perfect flower —contains both male and female structures such as lilies, hibiscuses, tulips, or irises;
Compare the data in your pollinator profile to the data gathered from pollinator observations. Did you identify the same three flower traits as you did in Activity One? Which flower traits may not contribute to attracting pollinators?
Review this Flower Diagram and keep it on hand as you explore pollination.
On their Flowers Seeking Pollinator Constructing Explanations Sheet , they will circle which flower they chose and write one sentence describing why that flower would attract their pollinator.
Take a walk outside and find a flower. Look for a flower that has both male and female parts, also known as a perfect flower . Examples of perfect flowers include lilies, irises, daffodils, tulips, gladiolas, crocuses, pansies, geraniums, hibiscuses, poppies, nasturtiums, buttercups, and crocosmias.
Each student group needs the Pollinator Profile card that corresponds to their pollinator from Activity One. Teacher tip: If you are fortunate to have a larger group, it may be helpful to have more than one set of Pollinator Profile cards to make it easier to share.
Journal Writing Exercises for Kids provides more guidance for supporting your students with journal writing.
Interested in learning about other ways NSTA is supporting teachers and families? Visit the  NSTA homepage .
After looking at how successful pollination depends on both the pollinator and flower type, how would a flower look that depends on wind for pollination? Or depends on water for pollination?
Journaling.  Why are there so many types of flowers?
Each group or individual should select one flower that their pollinator would be attracted to. flower articles for students Once they have selected their flower, they will take it back with them.
Using the flower dissection worksheet as a guide, identify and remove the parts of the flower and glue or tape them in the appropriate box.
Look beyond the flower your pollinator visited the most: Do you see any patterns when you look at all the flowers your pollinator visited? For example, bees went to Flower 2 the most, but they also went to Flower 6; do Flowers 2 and 6 have anything in common?
Flowers Seeking Pollinator Constructing Explanations Sheet
Tell students they are beginning to construct explanations about what flower features attract their pollinator. Their explanations right now are only based on observations in the field, which is exactly how research scientists begin to build their explanations. In the next step, students will receive more information about their pollinator to modify or strengthen their explanations.
With younger children unfamiliar with these terms or how they are used to describe pollination, you may choose to watch this video together.
pollinator —an animal that involuntarily transfers a flower’s pollen from male reproductive organs to female reproductive organs .
Teachers and families across the country are facing a new reality of providing opportunities for students to  do  science through distance and home learning. The   Daily Do   is one of the ways NSTA is supporting teachers and families with this endeavor. Each weekday, NSTA will share a sensemaking task teachers and families can use to engage their students in   authentic, relevant science learning.   We encourage families to make time for family science learning and are dedicated to helping students and their families find balance between learning science and the day-to-day responsibilities they have to stay healthy and safe.
“Take a Flower to Pieces” provides additional guidance for dissecting flowers.
This activity is adapted for online learning from the California Academy of Sciences lesson  Flowers Seeking Pollinators , curated by NGSS @NSTA Connection .
The flowers of the Caucasian lime, which can grow in Britain, are poisonous to bees. They can often be found on the ground underneath the trees.
Hummingbirds hover in front of flowers while they collect nectar. They use so much energy to do this that it would be like a human needing to eat 300 pounds of hamburgers every day!
On the back of the flower dissection worksheet, draw your flower.
Pollination occurs when pollen lands on the stigma of a plant. It then travels down to the ovar,y and it’s here that the ovules are fertilized. Most plants have flowers with the male and female parts present in each flower. Mostly, plants rely on insects, such as bees, to take the pollen from the anthers to the stigma.
pollination —a necessary step in the reproduction of flowering plants; the process by which pollen is transferred from the male stamen to the female stigma, thereby enabling fertilization and sexual reproduction; and
Most plants grow flowers each year, but some take much longer. The century plant or agave grows only one flower after many years, and then it dies! Even more amazing is a rare plant called Puya raimondii from the Andes in South America; it doesn’t grow a flower until it is 150 years old!
Journaling.  What if we had only bees to pollinate all flowers? Why are there so many types of flowers?

Journaling.  Go outside and find pollinators, hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc. Then record the pollinator and the type of flower it is visiting . Why do they seem to work out well together? Why are they a good fit?
Bamboo plants have amazing flowering habits. There are many different sorts of bamboo, and they have different flowering cycles. A few flower each year, but most wait much longer. What is amazing is that all the bamboos of the same species will flower at the same time, wherever they are growing! Nobody knows how they manage to do this.
The white flower of the Amazon water lily is the size of a football and turns purple after it has been pollinated.
Sensemaking is actively trying to figure out how the world works or how to design solutions to problems . Students  do  science and engineering through the  science and engineering practices . Engaging in these practices necessitates that students be part of a learning community to be able to share ideas, evaluate competing ideas, give and receive critique, and reach consensus. Whether this community of learners is made up of classmates or family members, students and adults build and refine science and engineering knowledge together.
If flowers are not available, or you are just looking for more information, you might choose to watch and/or share these videos with students.
Once students have read their Pollinator Profile, ask them to identify and record three flower traits that are attractive to their pollinator on the Constructing Explanations Sheet . This time, they will have more data to use, so remind students to consider the following:
In the The Beauty of Pollination video, students observe the variety of flowers and the different pollinators that they attract. Music accompanies the video without any explanation. Show the video once, then ask students to discuss their observations with their peers, siblings, or you. Then play the video a second time and ask students to write down their thoughts about the flowers and the animals that come to visit different flowers. This Science Journal Page has been included to aid students with journaling. After their discussion, ask, “Do you see a relationship between flower structure and the pollinator? article flower structure