Presentation: What's the Purpose of a Flower?
As part of our lesson on flowering, I prepared and delivered a direct teacher presentation called "What's the Purpose of a Flower?" As an accompaniment, I also created and distributed a worksheet that students filled out during the presentation.
Download the PowerPoint presentation: What's the Purpose of a Flower.ppt
Download worksheet: flower parts.pdf
I began the presentation with a fun fact, showing a picture of a single daisy and asking students how many flowers they saw. It turns out a daisy is a compound flower, and what appears to be a daisy is composed of perhaps a hundred individual flowers! With the students beginning to question what defined a single flower, I moved on to show some incredibly colorful and ornate flowers, a daylily that blooms for a day, and an orchid that looks like a bee. I then asked students why plants bothered to produce flowers such as these. This led into a presentation of the reproductive parts of a flower, and I narrated the journey of a bee pollinating a flower.
I had to remind students to fill out the worksheet, a habit that I will keep in mind for similar future activities. With the basics of flower anatomy out of the way, I began showing examples of bizarre flowers that were adapted to attract unusual pollinators, such as bats, dung beetles, and flies. Then I completed the flower cycle with a discussion of fruiting and seed dispersal. Finally, I recapped the new ideas by questioning the students on what conditions plants would like to flower under and how they might sense that the time is right for flowering. I talked about photoperiod detection and hormones, both of which were familiar concepts from our previous study of animals. In this way, I made explicit the connection between prior knowledge and new concepts.