Plant Parts and Their Diseases

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This exercise is designed to teach young learners the different parts of a plant (root, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds), the basic functions of each part, and to show that tiny microscopic organisms (“germs”) can cause each part of a plant to become diseased. The lesson shows learners the importance of understanding what causes plants to be sick and the need for scientists called plant pathologists to keep plants healthy. In part 1, learners discuss and look at examples of plants (anatomy, function and disease). In part 2, learners taste various parts of plants (i.e. carrot - root, celery - stem). This resource includes discussion questions with answers.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
      • Medicine
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • taste

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Elmer, Wade H. ; LaMondia, James A.


  • All rights reserved, The American Phytopathological Society, 2011