2nd Grade - Science

LESSON PROBLEM: Botany: How does the rice plant grow in water?


Rice is mostly grown in water. Some rice is grown on dry land. Even when rice fields are flooded, the rice plant uses less water than many other foods we eat -- like cantaloupe. A single serving of rice needs only 25 gallons of water to grow. Canteloupe needs 40 gallons of water for one serving. Beef needs 1,231 gallons of water for one serving. A chicken needs 330 gallons. Almonds need 80 gallons.

Rice grows best in water. It is most often grown in water-filled fields. These fields are called rice paddies.

The water in rice paddies keeps weeds from growing. Most weeds and other plants do not grow in water. Air cannot get to the roots of the weeds in rice paddies. The roots need air to grow.

Rice plants can grow in water because the leaves and stems have air tunnels. The air tunnels push air down to the roots. The leaves and stems must grow above the water. Water in the rice paddy is kept at a low level so the leaves and stems can do their job.

The rice paddy is a perfect place for growing rice. Water in the rice paddy keeps the soil warm during cold nights. The water helps keep the soil from eroding or washing away. The rice paddy gives rice plants everything it needs to grow strong and healthy.


Make a rainstick.

You will need:

A carboard tube (paper towels, aluminum foil or wrapping paper tube). The longer and bigger around the better.
1 cup of dry rice
Cut 2 strips of posterboard the same length as the carboard tube and about a 1/2 inch wider than the inside of the carboard tube.

Place glue down the center of the 1st strip. Let the glue dry.

Cut small strips along the sides of the poster board about 1 inch apart. Make sure not to cut the slits all the way to the middle of the posterboard.

Open the sides of the posterboard and twist making an X shape. Then slide the posterboard into the tube, twisting it as you do so that it goes in as a spiral.

Cover one end of the tube with masking tape. Pour rice into the tube. If the rice does not trickle down, adjust the posterboard. Give the cardboard tube a gentle shake. If you are happy with the sound (it should sound like a constant rainfall), then put masking tape over the open end of the cardboard tube.

You now have your own rainstick.


Draw a rice plant growing in a rice paddy. Next to your picture draw what you think the inside of the leaves and stems look like.


  • field
  • drain
  • oxygen
  • roots
  • almond
  • cantaloupe
  • paddies

Click here to play Rice Rampage!
How is Rice Grown:
Farming rice is hard work. Click here to learn more about the Stages of Farming Rice.
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