Year 6: Darwin's Plant Detectives

Designed for older primary children , this collection of resources encourages children to draw inspiration from the life and work of Charles Darwin to develop their understanding of the natural world. Working as 'Plant Detectives’ children find out how Kew scientists identified mystery seeds and then embark on their own detecting challenge; to identify mystery seeds using evidence from observations and creative thinking.

Darwin's 'Plant Detectives' is part of The Great Plant Hunt, created by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and commissioned and funded by the Welcome Trust to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth.


Darwin's Plant Detectives: Assemblies and Quick Start Resources

This resource, aimed at upper primary, has been designed as an assembly or class introduction to plant identification and variation within a species. An extract about the life of Charles Darwin sets the scene, followed by a video and a postcard from Moctar, a real life plant hunter. Moctar works in the UK...

Plant Detectives Activity 1: Thinking Walk

In this resource, aimed at upper primary level, children are asked to plan an investigation in which they identify unknown seeds. The context on which to base their investigation is that Moctar, a plant scientist has lost the labels for his seeds and asks for help in identifying which plant grows from the mystery...

Plant Detectives Activity 2: Name That Plant

In this resource, aimed at upper primary level, children identify unknown seeds by observing them and carrying out an investigation into the conditions different seeds require to germinate.

Teacher guidance is provided along with an extra activity which details how to make a plant pot from newspaper.


Plant Detectives Activity 3: Find That Plant

Aimed at upper primary, this resource links to work on the classification of plants in the local environment and variation within a species. On a thinking walk, children observe and note the variation between plants of the same species, comparing their leaf shape and size, height of plant, hairiness and colour. In...

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