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First Flower

Viewing Ideas

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Before Watching

  1. Have students bring in flowering plants and distribute them among groups. Ask students what the flower is for (seed formation leading to plant reproduction). On the board, draw and label the parts of a flower. Make a chart with each part's function. Have students locate the following parts on their flowers: anther and filament (stamen); the stigma, style, and ovary (pistil); and the petals (corolla). Discuss differences in reproduction between flowering and non-flowering plants.

  2. Organize students into three groups. As students watch the program, have each group take notes on one of the following: the geography and ecology of the area featured in China; the technologies, materials, and procedures used to study and date plant findings; and plant classification.


After Watching

  1. Have students refer to their notes as you lead a discussion concerning the evolution of flowers. Ask students to provide examples of plant diversity. What accounts for that diversity? What techniques do scientists use to determine the evolution of the first flowering plant? How has DNA fingerprinting changed plant classification?

  2. One scientist in the program studies how changes in leaf vein patterns can provide clues to plant evolution. Advanced leaves often have straighter veins to more effectively provide sugar to the plant, whereas earlier leaves have a more wandering vein patterns. Have students bring in leaves. Discuss the function of leaf veins and ask students to draw and describe vein patterns, noting which ones they think are examples of earlier or later evolution and why.

Teacher's Guide
First Flower
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