Pollination For Kids!

Pollination is the process that allows plants to reproduce. In some cases, the wind and rain blows pollen between plants, which causes pollen to transfer to the female reproductive part of the plant. However, most plants need bees and other insects to pollinate from one plant to the next. When a bee, or other insect lands on a flower, small particles of pollen stick to its legs. As the bee flies to the next plant, it transfers the pollen over with it. Plants rely on bees and other insects to make this happen. If they ever stopped pollinating, it could damage the plants that bear fruit and produce oxygen. People need the bees, the plants, and food they provide to survive and preserve the planet.

What is Pollination?

Pollination is an important process in the reproduction of plants with seeds (seed-bearing plants). People would not have fruit to eat or beautiful flowers to see without pollination. Every seed-bearing plant has yellow grains, also known as pollen, that help fertilize plant cells. Pollen acts as the main ingredient in the pollination process, which helps flowers and plants to produce fruit. The process of pollination creates food to eat from the seeds produced from the flowering plant.

Pollination happens when the plant's male reproductive system creates pollen, which is moved to the female reproductive system. This fertilizes the plant's cells to create seeds. Pollination can happen in one of two ways, including self-pollination and cross-pollination. Cross-pollination happens more often than self-pollination. Cross-pollination happens when bees, hummingbirds, or butterflies travel with pollen from one plant to the next. Self-pollination happens when a plant transfers its own pollen from the stamen to the pistil by itself (these terms are explained below). It does not need the help of bees, hummingbirds, butterflies or other insects. Very few plants self-pollinate, making pollinators (the creatures that carry pollen from one plant to the next) top priority for plant preservation.



Vocabulary

  • Anther: the part of the stamen that holds the pollen.

The Parts of a Flower Chart

  • Filament: the fine hair-like stalk that holds the anther.

Plant Structures: Flowers

  • Nectar: a naturally occurring sweet liquid found in the glands of many flowers.

Plants and Pollination (PDF)

  • Peduncle: the main stem of the flower.

Flower Anatomy (PDF)

  • Petals: the colorful, pretty parts of a flower.

Flower Structure: Petals

  • Pistil: the female part of a flower that makes ovules, or seeds that make other flowers.

The Pistil

  • Sepals: tiny green leaf-like parts at the bottom of the flower.

Scholastic Study Jams: Flowers

  • Stamen: the male part of a flower that produces pollen.

The Parts of a Flower: Teacher's Notes

  • Stigma: a sticky bulb found in the center of the flower.

The Basic Flower Parts



Bees and Butterflies

Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insects act as pollinators. A pollinator helps the pollination process by moving pollen from one plant to the next. Pollinators may not know that they are actively doing this for the benefit of the flower. Without bees and other pollinators, pollination would not happen. Most plants do not self-pollinate, which means they rely on other living things to do it for them. Losing pollinators could mean damaging the plants and possibly losing them forever. If bees and insects die, then no one would be able to pollinate plants. This means that humans could lose their source of food and oxygen. People need bees and other animals to encourage pollination. Therefore, people should treat the bees and insects with respect to ensure that they are around for a long time and can continue to do their important job.


Activities and Learning Materials

Learning about how pollination works can confuse anybody. The different parts of a flower with strange words can be difficult to figure out. Paying attention at school and at home can help with learning about pollination. Use these activities and learning materials to study pollination, complete homework assignments, and pass quizzes and exams. It will make the learning process more exciting and easier to understand.