Most flowering plants rely on pollinators for survival. Did you know that one out of every three bites of food we eat is made possible by pollinators?  What part do insects play in providing our fruit? 

Focus question:

How does a flower become a fruit?

Concepts and Key Words

anther pollen seed
flower pollination stamen
fruit reproduction stigma

 Getting Started

Pose focus question and “brainstorm” the answers. List further Concepts/Key Words/questions as they arise e.g Do all flowers become fruits? Why do all fruits have seeds? Do all plants have flowers? Articulate and record all Concepts/Key Words and vocabulary arising from discussion. Create a concept map.

Engage students’ interest in a flower structure by presenting a large flower e.g. Tiger Lily, sunflower, strawberry. Name flower parts. (see support materials A) List other flowers known to students. Do they become edible?

Explore the school garden or visit a nursery. Photograph or sketch the flowers and match them to the resulting fruit. Create a matrix of knowledge of plants, flowers, seeds and fruit. (see support materials B)

Explain the purpose of flowers – flowers contain the reproductive part of the plant. Without a transfer of pollen from the anthers to the stigma no fruit, and subsequently no seed, would develop. Hypothesise: why are flower shapes different?

Elaborate on seed to fruit cycle (see support materials C) by dissecting a fruit/vegetable e.g. capsicum, pumpkin, tomato (Dry out seeds to sow at a later date). Grow a radish (radish grow from seed to edible tuber in about six weeks) and follow its progress. Why are the flowers different shapes? Can we pollinate a flower? Do all plants flower at the same time?

Evaluate changes in beliefs, development of understanding of need for flowers as the essential reproductive part of a plant. Pollinate a flower using your fingers and/or observe some pollen grains under a microscope or digi-cam. (a lily is a useful flower for this as the pollen grains are large and colourful.) Hypothesise: what do you think insects receive from a flower?

Support material

Underlying science

Flowers contain the reproductive parts of a plant. Their purpose is to allow pollination to take place. Pollination involves transfer of pollen from the anthers to the stigma.
The fertilized embryo develops in to a seed and the surrounding tissue often develops into what we know as a fruit.