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Small Spaces

Look closely at plants growing in a small area.


  • camera
  • clipboard and pencil
  • magnifying glasses
  • hula hoops or circles of string

Key Science Concepts

  • Plants have different parts: roots, stems, leaves, and fruit. 
  • Some parts of the plant are below the ground and some are above.
  • Plants grow in many places. Usually they grow in soil.


Encourage children to use science process words like observe, describe, and compare. Emphasize words about plants such as roots, stem, leaf, grass, twigs, and flower.


Tell children they will closely examine a small area.

  1. Find a grassy area. Place the hula hoops or circles of string on the ground. Have groups of children look carefully at the plants growing inside each circle:
    • Try to find two plants that are alike.
    • Try to find two plants that are different.
    • What’s the darkest green plant you can see?
    • What’s the smallest plant you can find?
  1. Have children use their magnifying glasses to look closely at a small plant. Can they find the leaves? The stem?
  2. Have children tug gently on the plant without uprooting it. Ask, What is keeping the plant attached to the ground? Carefully, pull up one plant from the ground to show children what the roots look like.
  3. Make notes of what children say and take photos of what they find interesting.

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