3rd Grade - Science

LESSON PROBLEM: Botany: What is the second phase in the growth of the rice plant?


There are three phases in the growth of a rice plant. They are:

Vegetative Phase

Reproductive Phase

Ripening Phase

During the vegetative phase the plant grows. It grows leaves and tillers. The last stage in the vegetative phase is the stem elongation stage. During this stage the stem gains in height and tillering takes place. The rice plant grows leaves that are flat and elongated.
During the reproductive phase, the rice plant develops grains of rice. A panicle develops at the growing tip of the main stem. The panicle contains the plant's reproductive mechanisms. The terminal shoot of the rice plant produces grain.

As the panicle grows, it develops spikelets that contain the rice flowers. One tiller can have as many as 200 flowers. One rice plant can produce thousands of grains of rice.

As the panicle grows, the spikelets cause the leaf sheath to bulge -- called booting. Then the panicle eventually emerges from the leaf sheath -- called heading.

Flowering of the rice plant takes place in a very short time. Flowering happens soon after heading and usually in the morning. Flowering begins when the spikelets open.

Fertilization takes place last. Fertilization is when pollen reaches the flower. The plant grows rice only after fertilization. After fertilization, the flower develops into the rice grain.


Make drawings that show the growth of the rice plant during the reproductive phase. Label your drawings.


List foods that are ready to eat when separated from the plant. Illustrate your list.


  • stem
  • elongation
  • tiller
  • panicle
  • fertilization
  • spikelets
  • vegetative
  • reproduction
  • sheath

Click here to play Rice Rampage!
The Milling Process for Rice:
Getting rice from the field to you takes
a few more steps. Click here to see a video & learn more about the rice milling process.
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