Finding out about the number of flower parts


This activity is useful to help develop numeracy skills, as the children have opportunities for work on numbers and then link the pattern of numbers or parts in different flowers.

Using the ‘Dissecting a flower’ Teaching Notes, let the class either all dissect the same species of flower or dissect different species of flower. During or after the dissection, they can record how many sepals, petals, stamens and carpels they found in their flower. Then here are some things they can do:

  • See if there are any links between the numbers of different parts (e.g. are there the same number of petals and sepals?). Discuss why there are links, if any.
  • Compare their results with those of others in the class.
  • Record everyone’s results on a class chart and discuss the findings. This could be an opportunity to use IT skills, by using a spreadsheet.


Children should begin to see a pattern in the relationship between parts. Usually the flower parts are multiples of 2, 3 or 5.
Suggestions for suitable flowers to use for this activity are given in the Background information for teachers.


Using and applying mathematics: identify patterns and relationships involving numbers.

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