12 inquiry-based labs to explore the 12 principles of plant biology

The 12 Principles of Plant Biology are a framework to support understanding of the critical roles of plants to create, improve and sustain life.

These 12 inquiry-based activities were by Jane Ellis, Mary Williams, and Jeffrey Coker with support from the ASPB Education Foundation. They were developed to support the teaching of plant biology, and are developed for use by students in middle school (approximately 11 – 13 years old). Click on the images below to open each activity as a PDF.

Each lab contains:

  • a concept summary relevant to a middle school audience
  • engaging photos to enhance understanding
  • tips for setting up and conducting student-driven investigations
  • specific teacher guidelines for sourcing materials, streamlining the process, and using additional research


 1sugarmakers  2feedyourvegies  3seedsofchange  4sexbugsandpollensroles
 5plantsrespire  6support  7Biodiversity  8rainbow
 9meangreen  10plumbing  11whichway  12ecology