The Life Cycle of a Plant
Teacher Page

A WebQuest for Second Grade Science / Language Arts / Technology

Designed by

Barb Benford      &       Marilyn Young 




Introduction | Learners | Standards | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Student Page


Introduction  flower4.JPG 

This WebQuest lesson was developed as part of Michigan State University’s CEP 811 graduate class in technology. Students were asked to design a WebQuest to meet a specific educational classroom need relating to the benchmarks and standards currently in place in Michigan. The designers of this WebQuest, Marilyn Young and Barb Benford, selected second grade science, language arts and technology as the focus.

The Life Cycle of a Plant WebQuest is designed for second grade students as a review of a science unit. They will be exposed to the Internet as well as conducting research.  Because not all schools have database access, we have included websites that meet the educational needs of the lesson, a bibliography of other traditional materials and teacher created student pages that could be used to supplement the lesson.

Learners   flower4.JPG

This lesson is a second grade science unit which involves technology and language arts to a lesser degree. The lesson could be adapted to older grades with only slight modifications. Younger students might have some difficulty with the vocabulary and the amount of writing as well as navigating the Internet.

Students will need a working knowledge of a Venn Diagram and ability to use the Kid Pix software program.  This lesson is designed as a review of a science unit. As the lesson progresses, students will search for information to reinforce what they have previously learned.  Specific instructions on accessing websites will also be given.

Curriculum Standards  flower4.JPG

Students will meet a variety of curriculum standards during this lesson. The following standards are taken directly from the Michigan Department of Education website.

Science Standards

L.OL.E.1 Life Requirements- Organisms have basic needs. Animals and plants need air, water, and food. Plants also require light. Plants and animals use food as a source of energy and as a source of building material for growth and repair.

L.OL.02.14 Identify the needs of plants.

L.OL.E.2 Life Cycles- Plants and animals have life cycles. Both plants and animals begin life and develop into adults, reproduce, and eventually die. The details of this life cycle are different for different organisms.

L.OL.02.22 Describe the life cycle of familiar flowering plants including the following stages: seed, plant, flower, and fruit.

Language Arts Standards

R.IT.02.04 respond to individual and multiple texts by finding evidence, discussing, illustrating, and/or writing to reflect, make connections, take a position, and/or show understanding.

R.MT.02.05 self-monitor comprehension by using graphic organizers such as a Venn diagram and paragraphs to compare and contrast or indicate a sequence of ideas.

W.GN.02.04 use the writing process to produce and present a research project; develop two research questions related to a teacher-selected topic; gather electronic or print resources and organize the information using key ideas with teacher assistance.

Educational Technology Standards & Expectations


6. use various age-appropriate technologies for gathering information (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias, audio/video players,

phones, web resources)

7. use a variety of age-appropriate technologies for sharing information (e.g., drawing a picture, writing a story)


6. understand that technology is a tool to help complete a task

7. understand that technology is a source of information, learning, and entertainment


3. interpret simple information from existing age-appropriate electronic databases (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias,

spreadsheets) with assistance from teachers, parents, or student partners

Process  flower4.JPG

The following information is identical to the student process. We have added teacher notes in plum for you to quickly note hints.  The attached workbook My Plant Journal will need to be downloaded and copied for each student.

We designed this WebQuest for students to work as partners because we felt that pairing a stronger reader with an average reader would help students navigate the lessons.  You can certainly adapt the lesson and have students work as individuals.  It will take several class periods or days to complete the WebQuest. We anticipate completing one task per day.

While the main subject area is science, we cover language arts and technology standards as well.  Teachers may want to peruse the websites prior to assigning the lesson to help students with navigation hints.  You know your students’ abilities.  Please feel free to adapt the workbooks as you would like to meet the needs of your classroom.  We have attached it in PDF format.  You may make modifications. We discussed the length of our workbook and  decided students would like the end product but you can print back to back or resize pages to fit your specific needs. 

We have posted the Student tasks in a larger font to draw the attention of young eyes to the specific task.

You will be working in partners and each of you will be given a copy of the workbook titled My Plant Journal. Please use the link to access the copies of the journal for printing. Each person is responsible to fill in the answers to the questions in their own My Plant Journal.

As you work through the tasks, you will find answers to all of your questions while having fun exploring the Internet. 

Task one: Put your name on the front cover of your book. Draw and color a picture of flowering plants in the space provided. The drawing makes the book the student’s own work. You could also provide magazine pictures to make a flower collage or have students take flower photos for the front cover. On page 1, review the parts of a plant and label the parts in your copy of My Plant Journal.  On page 2, match the part of the plant with the correct definition. The website will help you. This website is from the United Kingdom; it is simple and direct. It will aid the student in answering the questions on pages 1 & 2. You may want to model accessing the link if your students are novices.

Click on the link to access the Internet site for help.

Task two: On pages 3 and 4, review the steps in the life cycle of a plant beginning with the seed. On page 5, make your own plant life cycle in you’re My Plant Journal. Click on the link for help. Below is a link to a rather long PowerPoint and you may want to share it with the whole class first. Students could refer back to it individually as they do pages 3, 4, and 5. Many of them will have no difficulty but being able to access the PowerPoint will make it easier for visual learners.

Task three: Use special websites to learn more about the life cycle of a plant. Record observations in your journal. On page 6, create a Venn Diagram comparing plants and people needs. We did not draw the Venn Diagram because we felt second grade students would be familiar with the concept. Here is a point where you may want to modify the page before printing. Make it work for your students. On page 7, use the information from your Venn Diagram to write three paragraphs. The first paragraph should be information on what plants need, the second paragraph will be information on what people need and the third paragraph will be information on what are the similar needs for people and plants.  Your specific paragraph criteria will come into play here. Click on the links to access the Internet site for help.

Task four: Create a flower using the Kid Pix computer program. Label the parts. Word list is included in your book.  On page 8, print your picture and add it to your My Plant JournalIf you do not have Kid Pix, another drawing program will work. We feel this task is an opportunity for students to show their creativity while conveying the information they have learned.


This WebQuest requires Internet access but if you are fortunate enough to have laptop carts with wireless access, you could do the lesson in the classroom instead of the lab.  Once your students have started the quest, independent students could work on their own on classroom computers if they are available.  They might solve problems that could help other students navigate more easily. Students could access the extra resources while the rest of the class is working on the project if they finish early.

Resources Needed  flower4.JPG

You will need the following:

This WebQuest is a good introduction for students as they begin the process of working with computers and doing research on the Internet. If the teacher is proficient and confident in using a WebQuest designed lesson and using the Internet, then one teacher should be able to handle the lesson.  If the teacher is not comfortable using the WebQuest designed lesson, we suggest having the teacher and any parent volunteers or aides peruse the site for familiarity before introducing the lesson.

Evaluation  flower4.JPG   

There are several pedagogical methods we are using throughout the lesson. The students are working in ability teams, because the slightly advanced student can help his partner when needed. They will need to communicate with one another and learn to work cooperatively.  There is explicit and implicit instruction, because the lesson will be presented in a computer lab whole group setting.  The lesson is designed to be used as a review. We want the students to feel comfortable with the subject matter, while incorporating computers as a research tool. Most of our students are visual and kinesthetic learners so clicking on websites will give the students different perspectives on information they already know.  


The Plant Journal helps to scaffold the student’s learning. The sites we chose will show familiar material but in a different context.  We are providing familiar vocabulary words throughout the workbook, My Plant Journal. These are vocabulary words they will see and read as they visit the websites. The vocabulary words will help them with the activities in the journal to label diagrams and connect definitions.


The first few workbook pages use inductive and deductive instructional strategies.  In the latter pages, the student will use his/her critical thinking skills to create a Venn Diagram and write 3 paragraphs telling about the different needs of people, the different needs of plants and the similar needs of both. Students will be asked to use their observational skills to create a flower and label its parts. 

Students will be graded using the Rubric below. The My Plant Journal will show how much the student has learned. Along with teacher observation, it will also indicate how easily students accessed the Internet and managed the research component. We didn’t include a rubric for cooperation and sharing but mentioned it to students as part of the Evaluation. 


Beginning Detective


Junior Detective


Detective First Class


Special Investigator




My Plant Book


Student tried to complete each page

Student completed each page with some mistakes

Student completed each page with no more than two mistakes.

Student completed each page with no mistakes.



Task one -    Labeling Flower parts



Student tried to label parts of flower.

Student labeled parts of flower with some mistakes and spelling errors.

Student labeled parts of flower with no more than two mistakes in labeling and spelling.

Student labeled parts of flower with no mistakes and no spelling errors.



Task two -Identifying parts of plant life cycle



Student tried to complete plant cycle.

Student completed plant cycle with some mistakes.

Student completed plant cycle with no more than two mistakes.

Student completed plant cycle with no mistakes.



Task three - Venn Diagram and paragraph comparison


Student tried to make a Venn Diagram but made

no attempt to write paragraphs.

Student made Venn Diagram with some mistakes.

Lots of information was not included in paragraph writing.

Student correctly made Venn Diagram and wrote three complete paragraphs with less than three mistakes.

Student correctly made Venn Diagram and wrote complete paragraphs with no mistakes.



Task Four -Kid Pix Flower and labeling

Student tried to create flower in Kid Pix but made to label parts.

Student created a flower in Kid Pix but is missing some labels or parts.

Student correctly created and labeled flower in Kid Pix with less than two mistakes.

Student correctly created and labeled flower in Kid Pix with no mistakes.


Conclusion  flower4.JPG

Although this WebQuest may appear to be simple tasks to look for specific answers to predetermined questions, it serves the purpose to review material while introducing the use of computers and the Internet. Teacher created designs model how the computer can help students plan, design and implement a research project. From this WebQuest, teachers can segue way into further research and even introduce PowerPoint as a means of presentation.

WebQuests are another learning tool to address the learning styles of our students.  Students find Webquests fun and engaging. It is well worth the time invested in creating this WebQuest and taking your class through the exploration. It meets our goals and objectives for this lesson.


Credits & References  flower4.JPG

Flower photos by Barb Benford.  Workbook by Marilyn Young.

Thanks to the many educators who have created life cycle of a plant websites that we linked to for our WebQuest.

Books used in designing this WebQuest:

Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page