Think about your favorite plant. Maybe it's green and full of leaves. It most likely just hangs out outside all day and night, never moving from one place. Doesn't sound much like your life, right? Plants don't walk, talk, or play. Nevertheless, plants and people have more in common than you might think!
The biggest thing people and plants have in common is that they're both alive. What exactly does it mean to be alive? All living things grow and die. Living things will die if they don't have nutrients, air, and water. People get their nutrients from food they have to find in the world around them, while most plants are able to make their own food. All living things share an ability to make new living things. If living things weren't able to produce young, there would be no more living things. People and plants need to keep making more people and plants. If they didn't, we wouldn't be here!
All people use both boy and girl parts to have children, but not all plants do. While many plants make more plants like them with boy and girl cells, there are other ways that plants can make more too. Boy parts and girl parts each make cells that have half of the information needed to make a new living cell. Without both a boy cell and the girl cell, a living thing can't be made. People have either boy parts or girl parts, but plants sometimes have both. The boy and girl parts of plants are in flowers. The girl parts in both people and plants are called ovaries
. In people, ovaries make and hold the cells called eggs, which are the girl cells needed to make new people. In plants, the ovary holds the ovule
, which is the girl cell that makes new plants when it meets up with the boy cell.
Eggs and ovules don't just turn into people and plants on their own, though. Boy parts and girl parts need to work together to make new people. The boy parts of people make sperm
, the boy cells needed to make new people. When sperm and an egg meet, they come together and grow to make a baby. Babies grow inside of their mothers, starting as a tiny group of cells and ending as a small person. When a baby is grown enough to live outside its mother, the mother gives birth.
The boy parts and girl parts of plants also need to work together to make new plants. The boy parts of plants make pollen
, the boy cells needed to make new plants. Pollen is like sperm. When pollen and an egg meet, they make a seed that then turns into a plant. Seeds are like plant babies. Seeds are able to grow into new plants.
A sprout is a baby plant.
Think back to your favorite plant. It might not walk and talk, but it is alive just like us. All living things are able to create new living things. Boy parts and girl parts work together to produce new plants and people. People stay in existence because they keep making more people-- just like plants!