Exploring Parts

"Science NetLinks provides a wealth of resources for K-12 science educators.  It is your guide to meaningful standards-based internet experiences for students." In this lesson, students will explore systems (in the context of parts and wholes), and develop the understanding that when parts are put together they can do things that they couldnu2019t do by themselves. They will analyze and discuss the parts of toys, classroom objects, and objects in the outdoor world. There is a printable you may want to use as a pre or post assessment too.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
GLE 0007.1.1
Recognize that many things are made of parts.
GLE 0201.3.4
Revise first drafts for clearer meaning, correct capitalization, and punctuation.
GLE 0301.3.3
Know and apply the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, and publishing.
With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and strengthen writing as needed by revising and...
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 


  • Looking for parts using hand lenses.
  • Identifying parts and their functions in such items as oranges, seed pods, and isopods.
  • Identifying all the parts and wholes you observe while eating your lunch.
  • Restructuring block or Lego toy structures for new purposes.
  • Pointing out differences in the parts of manufactured things and the parts of natural things.
  • Investigating parts to see whether they can be separated clearly and distinctly from the rest of the whole or whether they merge gradually with the whole so that they cannot be separated clearly and distinctly.
  • Allowing students to take apart some manufactured items, such as a bicycle bell, a telephone, or a clock. (First inspect the items to be sure they can be handled safely.)

Helpful Hints


Simple, large wheeled toy (e.g., dump truck)