Tulips planted in a field.

Plants

by carolinastaff

Plants have changed our planet. Photosynthesis provides oxygen to the atmosphere, and plants are primary producers for the majority of animals. There is extreme diversity within the plant kingdom, from tiny aquatic plants to giant redwoods to the vegetables and grains that feed the world. This guide breaks down the important information students need to know, provides links to products and free digital resources, and includes suggestions for hands-on labs that reinforce student learning. We gathered a variety of products and resources to better help you teach this concept. They include:

Taxonomy: Structure and Function

One of the first lessons of biology is the difference between plant and animal cells and how those differences in structures allow plants to make their own food through photosynthesis and then use that food for growth and reproduction. The kits below help students investigate and model plant cell structure and transpiration.

Structure and Function One of the first lessons of biology is the difference between plant and animal cells and how those differences in structures allow plants to make their own food through photosynthesis and then use that food for growth and reproduction. The kits below help students investigate and model plant cell structure and transpiration. See the photosynthesis page: https://knowledge.carolina.com/life-science/biology/photosynthesis/
746570 Transpiration 8-Station Kit

Students investigate the effects of the environment on the rate of transpiration while studying its relationship to water potential and transport. Kit comes with materials needed to grow bean seedlings and to observe water-conducting cells in plant stems.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Aquariums and other materials needed to perform this activitiy
746470 Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis Kit

Designed to match traditional AP® Biology Lab 4. This kit comes with premixed chromatography solution and DPIP already in solution. Teacher instructions and reproducible student sheets are also included.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Deeply understand the Next Generation Science Standards Crosscutting Concept of Structure and Function
Enjoy materials and instructions for THREE dissections
Compare and contrast the characteristics of life of plants, animals, and protists
251016 Inquiries in Science®: Observing Form and Function Kit

Develop students’ knowledge of the unity and diversity of life and the connection between form and function in all organisms. Students first investigate the structure and germination of different types of seeds. They then observe physical and physiological differences and similarities through observation and/or dissection of Lumbriculus, crayfish, perch, Stentor, and rat. Kit includes full dissection instructions and materials for at least 30 students working in groups.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Growth and Development

Plants are an easy way to study life cycles. Students can pollinate plants, gathering genetic information, and observe plant growth and development through several generations.

Super-fast generation cycle of 35 to 40 days
Virtually maintenance-free
Cross-discipline applications
158700 Wisconsin Fast Plants® Growth, Development, and Reproduction Advanced Student Kit

Make growth, development, and reproduction real for students with this Fast Plants® kit. Studies include measuring and quantifying germination, pollination, and seed development. Experiment times vary (3 to 40 days).

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

157896 Carolina STEM Challenge®: How to Train a Plant Kit

Mesh plant development and STEM to allow your students to predict and manipulate plant growth. Students examine seed germination and observe patterns of growth in response to various stimuli. Then they explore the plant tropism of pea seeds to design a system that demonstrates the effects of touch, light, or gravity on plant growth. This hands-on design challenge reinforces concepts such as basic plant anatomy, cell communication, and basic experimental design.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

158750 Wisconsin Fast Plants® Irradiated Seed Kit

Study the effects of various dosages of gamma radiation on all stages of plant growth and development. Kit contains nonirradiated standard Fast Plants® (control) seed and seed that has been exposed to different levels of cobalt 60 radiation (50, 150, 500, and 4,000 Krads). Mutagenesis and mutational effects can be studied by planting seed and comparing growth and development rates. Experiment times vary (40 to 100 days).

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

158725 Wisconsin Fast Plants® Plant Nutrition Kit

Introduce the concept that plants need the proper amount of nutrition to be healthy. In this inquiry activity, students grow Fast Plants® with different numbers of fertilizer pellets, discovering that too few or too many pellets produces unhealthy plants.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

191177 Lettuce Hormone Interaction Kit

Auxin and cytokinin levels are varied to show how different ratios affect growth. Order the kit with the perishable materials included or with a voucher to request perishables later at your convenience. 

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Plants and the Environment

Plants play a vital role in the environment. They support the base of ecological pyramids as primary producers. They supply oxygen to the atmosphere and remove carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. Plants are also affected by the environment-through drought, pollution, and pests. The kits below provide students the opportunity to investigate how plants contribute to and alter earth’s environment.

653076 Carolina BioKits®: Acid Rain

With this kit, students observe the effects of acid rain on a plant and the interaction of acid rain with the physical environment. Students also test for the presence of acid rain in their area.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

158746 Wisconsin Fast Plants® Acid Precipitation Kit

Measure the effect of acid precipitation on plant growth and productivity. Experiment time is 45 days. 

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

653048 Carolina EcoKits®: Investigating the Effects of Pollutants in Soil

Students can see the effects of air and water pollution all around them; however, soil pollution is harder to spot. In this activity, your students grow their own rye grass ecosystem and use it to experiment with different levels of pollutants. They can see firsthand how pollution impacts primary productivity and the flow of energy in the terrestrial system. Students also learn to estimate pollution’s impact on productivity by performing biomass measurements. 

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Horticulture and Agriculture

Horticulture and agricultural science encompass botany, genetics, chemistry, soil science, and even meteorology. These kits allow students to explore a variety of plant production and propagation techniques.

students design a solution for producing enough food for growing populations and the shift from rural to urban communities
331146 Hydroponics and Sustainability Kit

Explore hydroponics and explain its uses and limitations as a tool to help sustain human populations and manage natural resources. Students design a solution for producing enough food for growing populations and the shift from rural to urban communities. They grow plants hydroponically in a modified ebb and flow system, analyze data from their hydroponic systems, and make recommendations about using hydroponics.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

An aquaponics system supports the growth of plants and fish.
161850 AquaSprouts® Aquaponics System

Want to bring aquaponics into your classroom? The AquaSprouts® system is the perfect way to introduce students to this modern farming practice and to nutrient cycling. Designed to fit a standard 10-gal tank (not included), AquaSprouts® can be set up in any classroom.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

191093 Carrot Tissue Culture Kits

A classic experiment to induce callus from mature carrot taproots. Beginning callus formation can be observed by the end of the second week. The undifferentiated callus is transferred to shoot development medium and forms roots and shoots.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Plant Sets

10 plants, each representative of one of the major plant kingdom groups: algae, liverwort, moss, fern, Selaginella, gymnosperm, 2 dicots, and 2 monocots.
151102 Basic Plant Kingdom Survey Set
This set includes everything needed to establish one 4-L aquarium and 4 terraria: bog, carnivorous, woodland, and sandhill. With instructions.
163981 Ecology Terrarium Set
Includes 6 types of seed (12 or more of each) and instructions for demonstrating dispersal by mammals, by mechanical propulsion, by water, and by wind (glider, plumed, winged).
157970 Seed Dispersal Set
157890 Carolina® Seed Assortment Set
materials needed to perform a DNA barcoding experiment.
211385 Using DNA Barcodes to Identify and Classify Living Things
materials needed to conduct the exploring enzymes and evolution.
202270 Exploring Enzymes and Evolution Through Lactose Intolerance Kit

Plant Models and Manipulatives

568762 Altay Woody Dicot Stem Section Model
This 3-part model shows dicot root structure in cross and longitudinal sections, divided into 3 segments: root tip with cap; distension zone; and meristematic mature region.
568744 Altay Dicot Root Stem Model
568688 Altay Herbaceous Dicot Stem Section Model
Cellular and subcellular details of the monocot root are shown in cross and longitudinal section.
568745 Altay Monocot Root Model
568803 Altay Monocot Leaf Section Model
This block model shows a monocot stem in cross and longitudinal section.
568768 Altay Monocot Stem Section Model

Plant Slides

292416 Beginner’s Plant Microscope Slide Set
293225 Plant Anatomy Identification Microscope Slide Set
293196 Plant Anatomy Microscope Slide Set
292200 Plant Diversity Slide Sets for AP® Biology
301706 Typical Plant Cells
Monocot & Dicot Comparison Slide/CD-Rom Set

Other Plant Products

We offer a number of products that will help facilitate your plant lessons.

This easily accessible, self-contained ebb and flow hydroponics growing center is a great addition to any plant studies program and a perfect way to teach how plants can grow without soil. Also helps teach the basic concepts for plant needs, nutrition, food production, recycling, and agricultural technology.
666795 Hydroponics Center
159610
159610 Visual Desktop Hydroponics
674301 Naturalistic Terrarium
Recycle 2-L plastic bottles as a TerrAqua Column and study the connections between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
159132 TerrAqua Column Classroom Kit
Our popular Plant Light House® is designed for convenient use in your classroom or lab.
159004 Plant Light House® with Light Bulbs
158999 Plant Light Bank
223500 Leaf Identification Kit

Additional Plant Support

We have free resources to help you teach this concept, including:

  • Free Activities and Resources
  • Videos
  • Helpful Buying Guides
  • Care Guides

Plant Activities and Resources

Use these free resources to supplement your instruction about plants.

Plant Videos

Looking for videos to enhance your plant instruction? Try one of these.

Buying Guides

Choosing the appropriate equipment for your labs can be a challenging task. Our buying guides are designed to make your decisions easy.

Care Guides

Our Care Guides provide quick start information to let you know what you need to do as soon as your organism arrives.

Elodea

Wisconsin Fast Plants®

Algae Cultures

Moss

Plants

For More Guidance

These are our top picks. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, we’ll be happy to help you find the right activities and kits to simplify your planning and implementation. If you have questions, please contact us at product@carolina.com.

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