Green Is For

Green is For...


NC Essential Science Standard: 3.L.2 Understand how plants survive in their environments.

3.L.2.1 Remember the function of the following structures as it relates to the survival of plants in their environments: • Roots – absorb nutrients • Stems – provide support • Leaves – synthesize food • Flowers – attract pollinators and produce seeds for reproduction

3.L.2.2 Explain how environmental conditions determine how well plants survive and grow.

3.L.2.3 Summarize the distinct stages of the life cycle of seed plants.

3.L.2.4 Explain how the basic properties (texture and capacity to hold water) and components (sand, clay and humus) of soil determine the ability of soil to support the growth and survival of many plants.


Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will be able to explain the structures and functions of a plant and how they allow it to survive in their environment.
  • Students will identify unique characteristics about a plant and how those characteristics allow it to survive in its environment.



Materials:  Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating

Green is for template  ( 2 copies for each student. Use 1 copy as a rough draft, research notes. Then provide a 2nd copy for a final draft)

Access to Research Sources


5E PhaseLearning Task Examples
  • Read a few pages from Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating
  • Have students notice and wonder about why Jess Keating chose the animals she did.
  • Ask students, “What do you notice about the layout of each page? What does the author include?”
  • Ask students, “What makes this book engaging to read?”
  • Ask students, “If we were to create a plant book modeled after Keating’s animal book, what categories would be the same? What categories would need to change? What categories should we add?”
  • If needed remind students about the standards from the unit. Some categories could be about the seed or plant reproduction (life cycle), or about the environmental conditions (sunny, shady, soil properties) needed to support growth.
  • Tell students they’ll be completing a class book called “Green is for…” where each student will research one plant to add to the book.
  • Provide student choices for plants.
  • Choices could include foxglove, sweet pea, rhubarb, pumpkin, firewood, mayapple, milkweed, touch me not, purple loosestrife, cattail...
  • Provide time for students to research their plant. Some Online Research Sources available are: Epic! , NCWISEOWL, Smithsonian Botany Collection
  • Have students notice details about the parts of their plant and what their function is:
  • Does their plant have flowers (leaves, roots, stems)? What is their function? How does that structure help their plant survive?
  • Just like each animal in Pink is for Blobfish has an interesting and unique feature, so does each plant! What is your plant's unique feature? Does it have big leaves like a water lily to synthesize food? Does it have a tall stem like a sunflower to support itself? Does it have thorns to protect itself like a rose? Does it have flowers with colorful petals, nectar, or odor to attract pollinators? Does it have special roots to survive in its soil?
  • Have students take notes and draft a page for the class book.
  • Pair students with a partner to review and revise their plant page.
  • Have students write a final draft of their plant page. Students can draw or print out an image of their plant to add with it. Additionally, students could use labels to identify the structures and functions of their plant.
  • Green is Everywhere!  After the animals, Jess Keating has a page with a world map that shows where all the animals in the book are located. Have students contribute to a class world map of where their plant is located.
  • Glossary: As students research they may need to define words to use such as cotyledon, perennial, taproot. Collect these words and add them to a class glossary to add at the end of the book.  
  • When I Grow Up: On the last page Jess Keating has a “When I grow Up” section. Students can research careers involving plants. From agriculture to horticulture to plant pathology and add an additional section to the class book.
  • Back Cover: The back cover of Jess Keating’s book includes several adjectives that describe her plants. Ask each student for an adjective they would use to describe their plant and contribute to a back cover list.
  • Once the class book is completed, have students choose two plants other than their own to compare using a Venn diagram.