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Exploration Plan- Orchids

The goals of this curriculum is to:

  • Promote understanding of the diversity within a single plant species, orchids; 

  • Introduce biology concepts related flowering plants;

  • Give children an understanding of the meaning and purpose of diversity.

The concepts you will explore are: 


  • Biology concepts

    • Pollination 

    • Pollinators 

    • Seeds

    • Flowering plants

  • Diversity

    • Diversity exists within orchids, other plants, and people

    • Diversity is a key concept in biology- allows living things to adapt to their environment 

    • Orchid diversity meets the needs of different pollinators 

  • Opposites

  • Symmetry​

    • Balance

Art Center


Allow children to create open-ended, process art using the following materials: 

  • Drawing- Pastels, Colored Pencils, Crayons

  • Painting-  Watercolors, Colors of orchids or flowers in classroom at the easel with variety of different sized brushes in each color, tempera paint with paper folded in half

  • Collage- Orchid and plant magazines for cutting up; images of pollinators; colored scrap paper

  • Three-Dimensional (3D)- Sticks, paper rolls, pipe cleaners, tape, cardboard

  • Extras- Plant and flower stencils, glue, scissors, paper


Create other invitations, such as flowers in vases, fruit in bowls in the center of art tables for children to paint a still life.


Create symmetry paintings by having children paint on one side of folded paper (can be cut to look like orchids) and then folding to create mirror images.

STEM Activities



  • Count leaves or petals on plants- compare number on different plants

  • Compare size of stems, leaves, and flowers (make chart)

  • Measure and compare size of stems, leaves, and flowers (make chart)

  • Measure growth of plant over long-term

  • Compare sizes of various pollinators


  • Purchase orchid for classroom- Talk about when it needs to be watered and type of light it needs

  • Display images of plants with their pollinator

  • Put vanilla pods in the science area for kids to cut open and explore

  • Make Banana Vanilla Muffins

Dramatic Play 


  • Create flower shop

  • Pots, real and fake plants, orchids

  • Garden tools

  • Boxes to put plants in after they have been "bought"

  • Cash register

  • Tags for pricing items

  • Play money

  • Garden outside house area (plastic bin with small amount of dirt on vinyl tablecloth)

  • Watering cans



  • Add pollinators to block area with image of flowers, stems, leaves on blocks (use contact paper to secure images) so kids can make plants out of blocks​

Movement and Sensory


  • Reach like leaves for the sun

  • Curl up like leaves hugging ground

  • Bloom like a flower by curling up as a bud and slowly opening up



  • Read Orchids and use it to introduce children to the concepts in this unit. 

  • Read plant books (recommendations coming soon)

  • Introduce biology concepts (see meme on this page)

  • Introduce diversity concepts (see meme on this pages)

  • Introduce concept of symmetry

  • Encourage children to explore differences in living things in their world

Family Connections


  • Share goals and activity of unit with families

  • Recommend books that expand on this unit

  • Invite families to Family Night to experience activities in this unit with their child. Help them understand what children are learning in each center with this resource from Scholastic and this one from the Utah Learning Network.



  • Have children draw each others faces to show symmetry

  • Have children take care of plants together

  • Talk about how plants make each of us feel (be sure to note it is OK for people to feel differently about the same plant​).

Last thoughts:


Plan enough time (2 to 4 weeks) for this unit so that children can really explore and engage with the materials and concepts.


This curriculum is designed for children between the ages of 3 and 6, but you can increase or decrease the complexity to make it appropriate for older and younger children. You may add or subtract activities as you see fit.


I will add ideas as I think of them, and I expect you will have your own additions and adaptations based on the interests, ages, and skills of the children you serve. If you have a really great one share it on my Pinterest board or with me- I will make sure you get the credit and your fellow teachers will benefit!


Additional images and ideas can be found on Orchids' Pinterest page


If you really like this, please, share on               ,                  ,  or                      ! Thank you in advance!


These ideas meet several of the requirements of the Environment Rating Scales.


You are welcome to use and share this curriculum in whole or part with credit to Kim Bogren Owen and Words Reflected.

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