Cycle of Life


Students tour the greenhouses and look at surrounding plant life to observe the stages of life that a plant goes through to produce a flower. They see why flowers are important to the plant, and how insects play a role in pollination.

Materials Needed: Greenhouses and Worksheet on Germination


  1. Docent asks students what activities they have been to at this point and discusses for a couple of minutes what they have learned from the other activities.
  2. Docent then asks students if they can name the different stages of life that a plant goes through (seed, grow into plant, makes flower, makes seed, some plants die (annuals/perrinials) and the cycle begins again) and important processes that take place so that a plant will flower and eventually make seeds (germination and pollination).
  3. Docent gives out worksheet on germination and has the students as a group put them in order. Whey they get to the section on the sprout, the Docent gives the students an alfalfa sprout or mung bean sprout to examine and then taste.
  4. Docent then takes/sends the students through the greenhouses and shows them examples of stages of germination.
  5. If time, Docent brings the students to the attention of “air plants,” or epiphytes, and prompts students to guess how these plants get the components necessary to survive.

Alabama Course of Study for Science

This activity meets goals specified for grade:

  • K–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17
  • 1st–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26
  • 2nd–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 20, 21, 23, 24
  • 3rd–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 32, 34
  • 4th–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4
  • 5th–#’s 1, 2, 3, 4,

Learning Outcomes

Students will make the connection between the life cycle and the other activities and the processes of germination and pollination during this life cycle.

Instrumental Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • identify stages of germination.
  • identify adaptation made by plants to attract pollinators.
  • discuss the life cycle of a plant.
  • distinguish epiphytes from plants that have to live in soil.
  • discuss the cycle of life that plants go through and connect new knowledge of the smaller parts to the bigger picture.