Primary Booklet 6 – Plants in their Natural EnvironmentResource
Plants in their Natural Environment is the final one in an online version of a series of booklets written to support plant science in the Primary Curriculum. In this final booklet, children are encouraged to look beyond a single plant to consider habitats, ecology and adaptations.
In looking at the natural environment and more closely at plants in their habitats, children are encouraged to look beyond a single plant, its life cycle and what it needs to grow, and to consider groups of different plants living together in an area, known as the habitat.
Children begin to notice that different plants grow in different habitats – that a sand dune looks different from a wet heathland, from an old apple orchard or a grassy roadside verge. Children have opportunities to compare two or more habitats and note differences in the plants in each and how they grow. They may start to ask questions as to how and why the habitats are different and the factors that influence the plants that are able to grow there. The children may look at features that help plants to grow in a particular habitat and they begin to understand how certain adaptations contribute to making a plant suitable for the habitat. Finally, children consider the feeding relationships between plants and animals and the other ways that they are linked with each other in the habitat.
As in earlier booklets in the series, this final booklet includes a range of approaches to encourage learning. Several activities rely on observations and then children are encouraged to seek explanations for differences that they have seen or other observations they have made. There are card games that are fun, but at the same time help development of vocabulary and matching written clues with their visual observations. There is an opportunity for creativity in the now familiar ‘Design a plant’ activity… on this occasion showing adaptations for a particular habitat. Teachers should also be aware of opportunities offered in the different activities for development of skills in literacy and numeracy.