Reach For the Sun Teacher Guide - From Seed to Flower

From Seed to Flower

Time Required



Students will show what they know about the plants in Reach for the Sun by writing a picture story about the life cycle of a flowering plant.



Markers and/or colored pencilsPencilConstruction paperScissorsStaplerFlowering Plant Life Cycle Diagram, from Lesson 3Picture Story Scoring RubricLab Sheet: Growing Plants in Different Environments, from Lesson 1


Computer and Internet access


Gather materials for each student to complete the writing activity.
Make copies of the Flowering Plant Life Cycle Diagram and the Picture Story Scoring Rubric from the appendix.

Plant Growth Observations

Have students make observations of their plants from the lab in Lesson 1 and record their observations on the Lab Sheet.

Warm Up: Exit Slip Discussion

Distribute (or provide access to) students’ Exit Slip responses from Lesson 3 and review the responses as a class: Fruits help protect seeds and may act as a mechanism for seed dispersal if animals eat the fruits. Soaking the seeds in water helped soften the seed coat to make it easier for the embryo to break through.

Game Play!

Have students continue their last Reach for the Sun game with their partners for approximately 30 minutes. However, if enough computers are available, students can start a new game and play individually in either Classic or Strategy mode. Allow students to play uninterrupted, but ask them to think about how they might tell their own story about plant life cycles. Encourage students to think about using illustrations and their own words to describe the life cycle of a flowering plant.

Picture Store Activity

  • Instruct students to read the description of the writing activity in the Student Guide. Distribute the colored pencils and/or markers, construction paper, scissors, stapler, and the Flowering Plant Life Cycle Diagram. Review the Picture Story Scoring Rubric with students before they start writing their stories.
  • Let students know that they should create a storybook using the construction paper, and that each page should focus on a stage of the life cycle of a flowering plant. Students should include at least one illustration on each page, and they should be sure to address the importance of water, nutrients, and starch in the life cycle. Students should also discuss the importance of photosynthesis. The final page of the picture story should include a complete life cycle diagram with appropriate labels.
Once all students have finished, have them take turns sharing their stories with the class. Encourage classmates to offer constructive feedback, perhaps by giving extra credit points to any student who participates in giving feedback.