Plant dissection day brings hands-on learning to third grade classrooms at Dogwood Elementary School

Last week at Dogwood Elementary, the third grade hall was smelling especially sweet because they were studying plants and flowers. They were studying the standard that states, “students will be able to analyze the internal and external structures that…plants have to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.” The teachers decided to be creative to help them master the standard. 

They had a lot of fun through a combination of information gathering, drawing, and discovery. “My favorite part about the plant unit was learning about germinating and reproduction,” said Madeline French, a third grader in Ms. Mashour’s class. 

The students gained a lot of content knowledge about plants, but they also got to see science in action. The students loved the hands-on science project; they dissected a flower, which was an exciting experience. 

“What better way to learn than a plant dissection day!” said third grade science teacher Susan Berry. “In this activity, students looked closely for the important structures needed for plants to reproduce. They were thrilled to find the possibility of a new seed beginning to form.”

“I loved getting to dissect flowers because you could see the insides,” said Katelyn Dorgan, a third grader in Ms. Berry’s class. “I’d never seen the inside of a flower before.”

In addition to taking flowers apart, the students are trying to grow them. The teachers call this the Annual Bean Challenge. The classes planted flowers, and they are tracking the flowers’ growth at school. 

“We are training our class beans to lean towards the sunlight,” said Berry. “But these are some smart beans and some very curious third graders.” 

The students also got to plant a seed to take home. They can nurture it using what they learned, and they will hopefully watch it grow. 

“My favorite part was watching the kids invest into the classroom seeds of growth and the ones they planted at home. I get daily updates,” said third grade science teacher Emily Mashour. 

Both teachers want to thank Trader Joes for the flowering plants that helped support the growing young minds at Dogwood. 

Students left with a good understanding of simple botany. “Bright colored flowers with sweet smells attract pollinators,” said Dorgan. The unit definitely attracted the students’ attention.