This collection of resources introduces 14-16 students to the world of plant disease in a lively and engaging way. They include practicals and classroom activities to get your students thinking about plants as living organisms, with their own defences against the threat of invading pathogens. 

Ideas about communicable diseases in plants are included in the updated programmes of study for Key Stage 4 science published in December 2014. These ideas will be included in GCSE Science courses from 2016 (for first assessment in summer 2018). Some of these resources were developed specifically with GCSE Science in mind, but we hope they will all prove useful to teachers covering this intriguing and important topic.



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How Healthy Are Your Trees?

This activity is designed to get students thinking about plants as living organisms that have to survive, reproduce and defend themselves against disease. Students begin by cataloguing the health of trees in the area, and can then follow this with a statistical investigation, as suitable for your location and the...

Plant Disease Detectives

In this activity, students act as detectives, piecing together information from the sources provided to identify common plant diseases, including the type of pathogen causing it, ways in which the disease is spread, and how to stop the spread.

The activity will help students to demonstrate the following...

Plant Disease Practicals - Powdery Mildew

In this practical and data analysis activity students collect samples of leaves showing samples of infection with powdery mildew; the samples can be sent for analysis as part of the Powdery Mildew Survey citizen science project.

Students analyse data from the survey at the end of this activity.

Plant Disease Practicals - Identifying the Cause of Brown Rot

In this practical activity, students explore how the technique of re-infection (using infected material to infect healthy plant tissue) can help to identify the cause of a plant disease.

 Ideas about communicable diseases in plants are included in the updated programmes of study for Key Stage 4 science...