By MMS Lower Elementary Classroom 201
We learn that living things are connected to each other. They are connected by food chains, by ways they help one another, and by the environment they live in. In the food chain, plant life is the producer and all other living things are the consumers. The energy from the sun that plants use to make their food becomes energy for consumers when they eat the plants. In the last stage of the food chain, the decomposed consumers become nutrients for the plants, and the cycle begins again. Learning about plants is important to understanding all life.
In the lower elementary, the first lessons in botany are about the names of the parts of plants and then their functions. What is a root? What are its parts? What does each part do? What is a stem? What are its parts? What does each part do? The same process applies with seeds, flowers, and leaves. In our lessons, we learn the names by looking at cards and the real plants. We see the functions through books and examining the plants as well.
After we learn these basics, we learn about different types of leaves, stems, roots, flowers and fruits. Mrs. Hasan has brought in different plants, roots, and stems for us to observe. When looking at roots, we examined a carrot (conical-shaped), a turnip (napiform-shaped), a yam (tuberous-shaped), and a radish (fusiform-shaped).
Did you know that stems grow both below and above ground? The underground modified stem is a specialized stem and is enlarged to store food. The four types of underground stems are rhizome (ginger), tuber (potato), bulbs (garlic), and corms (eddo). These stems not only store food but can also produce new plants.
We also learned how the parts of the flower work to create fruit and seeds. Most people think of peppers and tomatoes as a vegetable, but they are really fruit. We have learned the types of fruit as well, simple (peach), aggregate (strawberry), and composite (pineapple). When we examined sprouting seeds, we learned which parts become the new plant (embryo), which are the plumule and the radicle. Other parts are the covering (testa), and the food for the embryo (cotyledon).
Learning about leaves helps us understand how the water cycle and photosynthesis works. Learning about types of leaves shows us how different plants make their food in different climates. The shape of the leaf and its margin can affect how it collects sunlight or water.
You can see why learning botany is so important. It helps us understand the foods we eat, how we get our energy, the life cycles of plants and animals, and how things are dependent on each other. Without plants, we would not exist.