Malama homepage

Lesson One: Asexual Reproduction of Plants

| Home | Overview | Calender | Schools | Unit Plans | Resources | Gallery | Comments |

Title of Lesson: Asexual Reproduction of Plants

Subject(s): Biology/ Agricultural Science

Grades: 9-12

Teacher(s): Ms. Lillian Yanagawa Lillian_Yanagawa/KALANI/

To The Teacher:
This lesson is designed to introduce students to the various methods of asexual plant propagation and to provide hands-on experience in using these methods to expand existing nursery stock.

I. Standards Addressed through the lesson:

1. Science, Domain II. Cells, Tissues, and Organs. Students explain the structure, functions, and reproduction of living cells. (pp. 32-33, Science Content Standards, 1999)

2. Science, domain II. Malama I Ka Aina: Sustainability. Students make decisions needed to sustain life on Earth now and for future generations by considering limited resources and fragile environmental conditions. (Pp. 24-25, Science Content Standards, 1999)

II. Goals of the Lesson:

The goal of this lesson is to impress upon the student that using asexual reproduction
methods such as cuttings is an efficient and quick means of expanding limited plant

III. Content:

The content involves asexual reproduction methods of plants.

IV. Student Learning Objectives:

Benchmarks (9-12)
1. Compare and contrast ways in which selected cells are specialized to carry out particular life functions
2. Describe and explain the structure and functions of cells
3. Identify the complex interactions among the different kinds of molecules in the cell that cause distinct cycles of activities such as growth and division
4. Assess the benefits and drawbacks of biotechnology on the environment and society
5. Analyze, evaluate and propose possible solutions in sustaining life on Earth considering the limited resources and fragile environmental conditions.

V. Resources and Materials:

1. Mature indeterminant tomato plants 10. Rooting media
2. Bolivian Wandering Jew a. Soil
3. Ti leaf b. Vermiculite
4. Crassula sp. (Jade Plants) c. Perlite
5. Cacti (columnar and ball) d. Sand
6. Jiffy-7 peat pellets e. Rocks/pumice/cinders
7. Nylon fishing line f. Hapuu, redwood bark
8. Aluminum wire g. Water
9. Planting trays h. Peat Moss
  i. Sphagnum moss

VI. Instructional Procedures: The teacher will:

a) lecture on the cellular structure of roots, stems, and leaves,

b) discuss the relationship between plant hormones and the formation of calluses, adventitious roots, and other anatomical structures,

c) provide pertinent terminology and their definitions regarding the various methods of asexual reproduction,

d) set up a show-and-tell of the various media and their characteristics,

e) walk the students through the procedures associated with assigned student propagation activities.

VII. Student Learning Activities:

Students will: a) explore the implications of sexual vs. asexual reproduction on genetic transference to subsequent generations, and b) develop rubrics to evaluate the success of student activities related to this lesson.


1. Cuttings: What are the different types of cuttings? How can we use this technique to increase nursery stock? Click here for the cuttings activity
2. Air Layering: What is the procedure for making air layers? What plants can we use for this procedure? ***Click here for the Air Layering activity
3. Grafting: Which plants can be grafted? Why is grafting practiced? How can we graft cactus?

***Click here for the Physiology and anatomy of root initiation activity

VIII. Assessment:

1. Student products: hanging peat pellet basket (cuttings); a successfully rooted branch and potted branch (air layering); a ball cactus successfully grafted onto a columnar parent plant (grafted).
2. Quizzes and tests of content knowledge
3. Position within student-generated rubric scale
4. Ability to explain and demonstrate procedures and results to special education students

IX. Teacher and/or Student Evaluation of Lesson:

1. Teacher Standpoint: did students acquire the skills to perform all three procedures successfully? Did students understand why the plants responded as they did? How was the timing…did the activities take too much time? What mistakes did students make that can be avoided next time? Did I explain clearly enough? Did students find the knowledge gained valuable?

2. Student Standpoint: Can I explain to a novice what I did and why it worked? Can I repeat the activity successfully on a different type of plant? Do I understand why this kind of plant reproduction is important?