Mystery Plants - 3rd Grade


Four mystery packets of seeds have been delivered to your "virtual classroom".  Each of you will choose a different packet of seeds to investigate.  As you observe the seeds, you will watch them sprout, grow, flower and develop fruit.  You will figure out what type of seed was in your packet.  The mystery is yours to solve!


Your task is to create a timeline of your mystery plant's growth until it produces something edible.  Each person in your group will have one food item to contribute to your group's food creation at the end of the project.  You will identify whether the edible portion of your plant came from the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits or seeds of your plant.  You will present your "virtual food creation" to the class at the end of the project.




1.  First you will be split into groups of four students. 

2.  The students needs to choose numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4 for which mystery plant they will follow.  

3.  Watch your video to watch your plant sprout and figure out which plant you have.  Sketch a plant timeline with a picture of your seed, then another picture as it begins to sprout, and another picture of it with its first few leaves.  You may need to watch your video several times.  Click on your plant number to see the video.
     Mystery plant #1

     Mystery plant #2

     Mystery plant #3

     Mystery plant #4

4.  Play this game to remember all of the parts of a plant.

5.  Check these pictures to get a full-grown picture of your plant.  You need to sketch this picture onto your plant timeline.  Each picture should include roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds. 

     Mystery plant #1:  click here to see full grown plant.  Here is a picture of its flowers.

     Mystery plant #2:  click here to see full grown plant.  Here is a picture of its flowers and seeds.

     Mystery plant #3:  click here to see full grown plant.  Here is a picture of its flowers and fruit.

     Mystery plant #4:  click here to see full grown plant with a flower.  Here is a close up of a flower.  Here are some pictures of theseeds.

6.  Talk with your group to determine what food item you could make by mixing together something from each person's mystery plant.  Each person needs to figure out which part of their plant is the edible part:  the root, stems, leaves, fruits or seeds.

7.  As a group, draw a picture of your "virtual food creation" made from your group's plants.  Prepare to show it to the class as a whole.

8 Create a Power point explaining how your plants grew, the parts of a plant , what each part does and your food creation that you will present to the class.

9..  Finish up your seedling's time line and your picture of your "virtual food creation." and powerpoint  If you are done and waiting for your group, take a minute to work on these activities:  vocabulary game  jigsaw puzzle and  Flocabulay (parts of a plant then pollination)

10.  Each person needs to show the class the time line of their mystery seed's growth and what the mystery seed is.  As a group, show the picture of the your "virtual food creation" you made using something from each person's mystery plant and powerpoint.  Tell which part of the plant you used to create your food. 




You will be evaluated using four assessments.

Description: The Student Self Asssessment will be worth 50 points.

Description: The Teacher Assessment will be worth 50 points.


This entire project is worth 100 points.


I hope you have enjoyed seeing the time lapse photos of plant growth and find the process amazing!  Every part of the plant (the roots, the stem, the leaves, the flowers, the fruit, and the seeds) play an important role in the life cycle of the plant.  Your plant time line reflects the life cycle of the plant.  Your "virtual food creation" is a reminder of the importance plants play in our daily diet.  Mystery plants are fun to discover.

All living things grow, take in nutrients, breathe, reproduce, and eliminate waste. (5.1a) ■ An organism’s external physical features can enable it to carry out life functions in its particular environment. (5.1b) ■ Each plant has different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction. (3.1b) — Roots help support the plant and take in water and nutrients. — Leaves help plants utilize sunlight to make food for the plant. — Stems, stalks, trunks, and other similar structures provide support for the plant. — Some plants have flowers. — Flowers are reproductive structures of plants that produce fruit which contains seeds. — Seeds contain stored food that aids in germination and the growth of young plants. ■ In order to survive in their environment, plants and animals must be adapted to that environment. (3.1c) — Seeds disperse by a plant’s own mechanism and/or in a variety of ways that can include wind, water, and animals. — Leaf, flower, stem, and root adaptations may include variations in size, shape, thickness, color, smell, and texture. — Animal adaptations include coloration for warning or attraction, camouflage, defense mechanisms, movement, hibernation, and migration. ■ Plants respond to changes in their environment. For example, the leaves of some green plants change position as the direction of light changes; the parts of some plants undergo seasonal changes that enable the plant to grow; seeds germinate, and leaves form and grow. (5.2a) ■ When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations. (6.1f)