Plants for Primary Pupils Booklets – Overview


This set of 6 booklets was written to support plant science in the Primary Curriculum. They each include teaching resources and ideas, together with background notes for teachers.

The guide (downloadable from the link on the right) outlines how the activities in the booklets can be used to support National Curriculum topics and links.

In these booklets, some activities are based in the classroom while others involve growing plants outside (say in tubs in a school yard or in a school garden) or making observations of plants growing in the wider environment. Teachers are encouraged to let pupils explore links between classroom and outdoor fieldwork activities. Many activities give emphasis to the growing of plants so that pupils can make first-hand observations, often on their own plant, and become familiar with plants and how they grow. There are games that reinforce their learning and simple investigations that help them find out more about how plants work.

Each topic includes a description of the activity and appropriate information for teachers. With some activities, there are ‘pupil worksheets’ and plenty of opportunities for development of numeracy and literacy skills and make cross-curricular links. Background information for teachers is also included.



Safety and Copyright

Please read the safety notes before carrying out any of the practical activities. They are short but to the point!

1- Parts of a Plant and their Functions

This topic introduces pupils to the basic parts of a flowering plant – the root, stem, leaf and flower. It provides a range of activities that include growing plants from seed (inside or outside the classroom), ways of making simple models of a plant and card games that are fun but at the same time reinforce pupil learning and help them to be ready to move on to the next stage.

2 Reproduction and Life Cycles – Part 1: Parts of a flower

This booklet introduces children to the basic parts of a flower and their functions, helping to build on their understanding of the parts of a plant, covered in booklet 1 of the series. It provides a range of activities that include dissection of a flower to see its parts – the sepals, petals, stamens and stigma, style and ovary – and how they are arranged, ways of making simple models of a plant and card games that are fun but at the same time reinforce children’s learning and help them to be ready to move on to the next stage.

3 – Reproduction and Life Cycles – Part 2: Pollination, fertilisation,…

This booklet includes activities that can help children become familiar with the events that occur during pollination, leading to fertilisation. This is followed by activities linked to fruits and seed dispersal so that children have a chance to observe the different types of fruits and their means of dispersal and gain understanding of their importance in the life cycle of a plant.

4 – Living processes, and what plants need to grow

This booklet includes activities that children can do to find out more about plants. It focuses on ways that children can grow their own plants, from seed and also from other parts of plants. Several of the activities are set out as investigations. The introduction of the Planning Plant provides a means of developing children’s approach to investigations in a scientific way. They can investigate, for example, whether plants need water, light, soil and mineral salts. They can design a seed packet (with appropriate instructions for growing a newly discovered plant), find out how strong plants are and how water travels through a plant. A section on having fun growing plants gives opportunities for children to gain a wider experience of plants!

5 – Grouping and Classification

This booklet includes activities that encourage children to explore the nature of living things. The activities help children understand how we can group objects (both living and not living) leading on to how we classify living things and why we give them names. It enables children to make simple keys based on similarities and differences between objects (including parts of plants) and to use keys to identify certain plants.

6 – Plants in their Natural Environment

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 have opportunities to compare  habitats and note differences in the plants in each. They may start to ask questions as to how and why the habitats are different, and 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.

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