Pollen causes sneezing and runny noses, but it is also the crucial component in the sexual reproduction of plants and trees.
Alignment to NC Essential Standards
- 7.L.2.1 — Explain why offspring that result from sexual reproduction (fertilization and meiosis) have greater variation than offspring that result from asexual reproduction (budding and mitosis).
Students will compare and contrast the processes of sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction.
- How do pine trees reproduce?
- What is pine pollen, and what does it contain?
- How does the process of sexual reproduction differ from the process of asexual reproduction?
- Sexual reproduction
- Asexual reproduction
Afterwards, lead the class in a discussion of the pros and cons of plants and trees. As the animations show, they engage in a crucial relationship with animals by producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide. Are there any downsides? Among the other cons the students come up with, the idea of spring pollen and allergies should be discussed.
Students can view the UNC-TV Science video Bee-Utiful Bee and discuss the following questions:
In what ways do the reproduction processes of blueberry blossoms and pine trees differ? In what ways are they alike?
Students will create a poster board, write a three-paragraph essay or provide a video or animation that compares and contrasts the processes of sexual and asexual reproduction. They should include definitions of the vocabulary and specific points for contrast from the vocabulary model and graphic organizer they created.