3rd Grade - Science

LESSON PROBLEM: Botany: What are the growing stages of the rice plant?


The rice plant produces grain that is the staple food for more than two-thirds of the world’s population. The rice grain is actually the fruit of the flowering rice plant. Rice is the only major grain that grows in water. Its plant stands in water all through its growing period. It is only when it is time to harvest the grain that water is drained out of the field.

The growth of a rice plant can be divided into three phases – VEGETATIVE, REPRODUCTIVE and RIPENING.

In the vegetative phase, the rice plant develops its roots, stem and leaves, beginning with seed germination. This phase has four stages:

Germination to Emergence
The outer rice seed coat, called the hull, breaks and the shoot and the root emerge. Seeds are sometimes pre-germinated by soaking for 24 hours. They are then incubated for another 24 hours.

Seedling is the second stage of the vegetative phase. It lasts about 18 days. During this stage a mass of roots develops. These roots firmly fix the plant in the soil and also increase the roots’ ability to absorb water and nutrients. The plant develops 5 leaves. One new leave appears after a gap of 3-4 days.

This stage extends from the appearance of the first tiller until the maximum tiller number is reached. Tillers are the plant shoots that grow into the flowering branches of the rice plant. They grow from the main stem of the plant (primary tillers). Then, from these first tillers grow second tillers and from the second tiller, the third tiller appears.

Stem Elongation
This stage starts towards the end of the vegetative stage and the beginning of the reproductive stage. The stem gains height and tillering continues.

When tillering reaches a maximum number, it signals the end of the vegetative stage and the beginning of the reproductive stage. The stem of the rice plant transports water, minerals and other nutrients from the roots. The stem also stores starch, helps aerate the roots, and produces leaves and tillers from its nodes.


Study the growth of the wheat plant.

Compare it with the growth of the rice plant.

Make a chart to show the similarities and differences.


Try to find out if rice is grown in cold regions. If it is grown, then how is its cultivation there different from its cultivation in hot regions.

If it is not cultivated in cold regions, then find its reason.


  • hull
  • tillering
  • germination
  • shoots
  • stem
  • soak
  • incubate
  • nutrient
  • minerals

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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