3rd Grade - Science

LESSON PROBLEM: Botany: What happens to the rice plant in the final stage of its development?


The rice plant develops in the first phase – the vegetative phase. In the second phase – the reproductive phase – it gets flowers that develop into rice grains. But these grains are very tender at first. The rice grains that you get from a store are hard.

The last stage of the second phase is when the flower develops into the rice grain after fertilization.

The final phase – the third phase in the growth of the rice plant is called the ripening phase.

The ripening phase has three and sometimes four stages that are identified by the color and texture of the grain.

Milky or Milk Grain Stage: During this stage the rice material is still liquid. The liquid is white and so it is called the milk grain. The grain covering is totally green at this stage.

During this stage the liquid milk-like material becomes harder like soft dough. So this stage is called the rice dough grain stage. When the rice was in milk form, its outer covering was green. As the grain gets thicker and harder, the outer covering begins to change from green to yellow.

Mature Grain Stage: During this stage, the rice grain is completely developed. It is no longer liquid or soft. The rice grain is now hard. The color of the grain is translucent white.

The mature grain is now ready for harvesting -- food for millions of people!


List the three stages in the ripening phase of rice development. Illustrate your list.


Most growing things, including humans, go through phases and stages in the growing process. What phases and stages are you going through? Are there any comparisons you can make to the growth of rice?


  • dough
  • reproductive
  • subsequently
  • texture
  • liquid
  • gradually
  • harvesting
  • translucent

Click here to play Rice Rampage!
Baldo is actually a type of specialty rice grown right here in the U.S. Other types include basmati, jasmine and arborio.
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