What Living Things Need to Survive: Plants

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11377

Did you know that trees have rings? They don't have fingers to wear them on, so where are they? Plants need some of the same things we need to live but they don't have mouths or noses! Learn more now!


Life Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Do you know what plants need to survive? They don't have mouths to eat with!

What do you think a plant needs to help it grow?

Have you ever taken care of a plant before? What did you do to help that plant grow? Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

Some plants are harder to grow than others. Even though plants from different areas of the world may look different, they all need the same things to survive. In this lesson, you will learn what plants need to be able to grow.

Before you move on, look around, or maybe out a window, to see if you can spot a plant. If you happen to have a small plant in your learning space, bring it over to your computer so you can look at the different parts of the plant during this lesson.


Have you ever seen someone watering his or her garden? Why do you think he or she was doing that? Tell your parent or teacher why people may water a garden.

Did you say it's because plants need water? That's right, plants do need water to survive. A plant's roots suck up the water and help the plant grow. Some plants need more water than others to grow and stay healthy. For example, a cactus that lives in the desert doesn't need nearly as much water as a tree in the tropical rainforest.

watering plants

Have you ever planted a seed? Where did you put the seed? Tell your parent or teacher all about a time when you planted a seed. If you have never planted a seed, think about what type of seed you may like to plant, and where you would plant that seed.

Did you say you planted it, or would plant it, in dirt? Great job, because plants need dirt, or soil. Plants get their nutrients from soil. This is why you plant seeds in soil. Without the nutrients, your plant would not be able to grow!

planting in soil

Just like people, plants need air, too! Plants don't breathe oxygen like people. Plants use carbon dioxide instead of oxygen. After using the carbon dioxide, plants release the oxygen we use to breathe! Do you think we could survive without plants? Why or why not? Share your ideas with your parent or teacher.

purple flowers

Have you ever seen a plant hunting for food? No, of course not! Plants can't move. If plants can't hunt for food, how do they survive? Did you know plants get their food from sunlight? All plants need sunlight. Without sunlight, plants could not perform the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis helps plants use sunlight to create food.

sunflowers in the sun

Do you know how photosynthesis works? If you do, tell your parent or teacher.

Photosynthesis is a way for plants to make their own food. All plants have chlorophyll. This is what makes their leaves green! The chlorophyll captures the light from the sun and uses the suns energy (light) to turn carbon dioxide, nutrients from the soil, and water, into sugar. The sugar goes to the plant's roots, stem, and leaves, and provides nourishment. Without sunlight, soil, air, and water, the plant would not be able to complete this process. This is why it is so important for plants to get air, water, sunlight, and nutrients from the soil.


Before moving on to the next section, tell a parent or teacher the four most important things plants need to survive.

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