Lesson Plan

Fig Tree Reproduction and Life Cycle


In this lesson, students learn about the characteristics of fig trees. Students will:

  • describe the characteristics of the environments where fig trees grow.
  • explain how specific structures in the fig tree help it to reproduce.
  • compare sexual reproduction in fig trees with asexual propagation by humans.
  • order the life cycle of the fig tree.

Essential Questions


  • Cultivate: To make land suitable for growing crops.
  • Keystone Species: Species that has a major impact on its ecosystem and is needed to maintain ecosystem balance.
  • Sexual Reproduction: Process by which two cells from different parents come together to produce a new organism.
  • Asexual Reproduction: Process by which a single parent reproduces by itself.
  • Pollen: Tiny dust-like particles that carry male sex cells in some plants.
  • Pollination: Transfer of pollen from male plant reproductive structures to female plant reproductive structures.
  • Ovary: The structure in plants that contains female sex cells and will develop into fruit after pollination.
  • Syconium: Hollow, fleshy, flower-bearing structures on fig trees that are lined on the inside with hundreds of tiny, pollen-bearing male flowers and seed-bearing female flowers.


45–60 minutes/1–2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.


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Related Materials & Resources

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Formative Assessment

Suggested Instructional Supports

  • View
    Scaffolding, Active Engagement, Modeling, Explicit Instruction
    W: This lesson on fig trees introduces concepts that will be used throughout the unit: life cycles, reproduction, and interdependence of species.
    H: The lesson begins by having students interpret data on a world map to determine where fig trees grow.
    E: The lesson includes having students take double-entry notes and then complete a worksheet independently.
    R: Students revisit concepts from the lecture and notes as they answer the questions on the worksheet.
    E: Students express their understanding by ordering the stages of the fig tree life cycle and answering questions about fig tree reproduction.
    T: This lesson can be tailored by reinforcing the concepts orally, after students complete the written assignment. Also, students may benefit from review of the lesson vocabulary.
    O: The lesson begins with instruction on where figs grow and why they are important as keystone species. Then, it moves to a comparison of sexual and asexual reproduction, and functions of reproductive structures. Students learn about the cyclical nature of the fig tree life cycle.

Instructional Procedures

  • View
    • Display the overhead transparency of the World Map of Fig Tree Cultivation (S-7-3-1_World Map of Fig Tree Cultivation.doc). Based on the data shown on the map about fig tree cultivation, ask students what they think the climate is like where fig trees are grown. Elicit that fig trees grow around the world, and that they grow in the tropics where it is warm. Tell students that figs can grow in tropical rainforests, where the climate is warm and wet, or in Mediterranean climates where it is hot and dry.
    • If computers with Internet access are available, have students view the video, “Giving Food and Shelter (Sycamore Figs)” (see Related Resources). Ask students to list three reasons why figs are important to other organisms in their environment.

    Distribute copies of Double-Entry Notes (S-7-3-1_Double-Entry Notes-Student Version.doc) and guide students in completing the double-entry notes as you provide instruction about fig trees (S-7-3-1_Double-Entry Notes-Teacher Version.doc). Double-entry notes provide organized structure when students are taking notes. Be sure to emphasize that each reproductive structure of figs carries out a specific function. Also, reinforce that the life cycle of fig trees is a repeated process; fig trees produce figs about three times each year.

    Distribute copies of the Fig Tree Reproduction and Life Stages Worksheet (S-7-3-1_Fig Tree Reproduction and Life Stages-Student Version.doc) and have students complete it individually.


    • Students who may need opportunities for additional learning can work with a partner on Fig Tree Reproduction and Life Stages Worksheet. Review the answers aloud with students after the activity. Also, collect the double-entry notes and add to them as needed to make sure each question is fully answered. It may also be helpful to provide a list of vocabulary terms and definitions from this lesson.
    • Students who might be going beyond the standards can write a step-by-step guide for propagating fig trees using cuttings.

Related Instructional Videos

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DRAFT 05/11/2011
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