Overview of Section Resources

Section 1: Plant Parts
Students begin their investigation of life cycles with an introduction to asexual and sexual reproduction in plants. They compare fruits with roots, stems, and leaves and recognize that fruits have seeds for reproducing. Then they observe asexual reproduction in roots, stems, and leaves.
Section 2: What Is Inside a Seed?
Students open bean seeds to observe the embryonic plants and cotyledons. They conduct an experiment to see which part of the seed grows. During the experiment, they observe germination and development of the root and first leaves.
Section 3: Inside a Flower
Students dissect a flower to observe the parts involved in sexual reproduction. They study the life cycle of a flowering plant and infer how insects pollinate flowers. Then they open fruits to count the seeds and record their data in a bar graph.
Section 4: Plant Needs
Students investigate what plants need to grow and develop properly. They are introduced to the concept of photosynthesis and experiment to find out what happens when a leaf is deprived of light. Then they experiment to identify two sources of food for plants: cotyledons and photosynthesis. They compare how sprouting plants respond to the presence and absence of light and the presence and absence of cotyledons.
Section 5: Growing Mold
Students consider the role of molds as decomposers in the life cycles of plants and animals. Students explore variables that affect mold growth. They experiment to compare wet versus dry environmental conditions. They observe mold spores on a prepared mold slide.
Section 6: Life Cycle of a Frog
Students observe the life cycle of a frog, from egg to adult. They compare the habitats, breathing structures, and food preferences of tadpoles with those of adult frogs. Students measure eggs, tadpoles, and adults throughout metamorphosis and observe variation within the population.
Section 7: Life Cycle of a Fruit Fly
Students observe the life cycle of a fruit fly, from egg to larva to pupa to adult. They observe the differences between males and females and discuss fruit flies' needs, including water, food, space, and air. Students count larvae, pupae, and adults and use their data to understand population growth in fruit flies.