Year 2: Plants
This list consists of lesson plans, activities and video clips to support the teaching of plants in Year Two. It contains tips on using the resources, suggestions for further use and background subject knowledge. Some possible misconceptions are highlighted so teachers may be ready to deal with them should they arise. Designed to support the new curriculum programme of study it aims to cover many of the requirements for knowledge and understanding and working scientifically. The statutory requirements are that children are taught to:
• observe and describe how seeds and bulbs grow into mature plants
• find out and describe how plants need water, light and a suitable temperature to grow and stay healthy.
Visit the primary science webpage to access all lists.
Links and Resources
The Seed sorting activity is a good way of getting children to work collaboratively to observe and describe seeds. Ask them to decide on their own criteria for grouping and sorting the seeds.
The Sunflower jigsaw could be used as an independent activity as a way of refreshing knowledge about parts of a plant.
In Room to Grow find out what conditions plants need to grow and how they compete for resources. Children can observe and compare plants sown close together and far apart making notes and drawings of their observations. The observations need to be made over several weeks, so they help to develop an awareness of observing over time and of the gradual process of plant growth.
This pack containing six lessons, key vocabulary and related resources, is a good place to start when planning this topic. Session B investigates what seeds need to germinate and looks at how to make a test fair. Germination is when a seed starts to grow. Many children will be surprised that a seed does not require sunlight to germinate whereas a seedling with green shoot and leaves will need sunlight for healthy growth.
Once the seeds have germinated ask children to think about how to carry out an investigation to see what a plant needs to grow thinking about the factors of water, light and temperature.
This resource helps children understand the role of seeds in the life cycle of a plant. It contains two activities; the first asks children to observe and sort a variety of seeds discovering the variety of shapes, sizes and colours. They then go on to investigate the conditions that are required for germination.
It is part of a The Great Plant Hunt, which is designed to encourage children to draw inspiration from the life and work of Charles Darwin. This resource provides a short video of a real life plant hunter, Dan. He talks about his work and sets up a challenge for children to out and discover plants and seeds in the local area and observe how they grow.
Time lapse is a great way of showing a seed germinating and the results of a short film made with children would really help them see how seeds begin to grow into mature plants. This video shows how to make a time lapse film in a clear and easy way using a smart phone. Once mastered you can apply this technique to other areas of the science curriculum.
Can you grow a beanstalk as tall as Jack? The idea on page 26 looks at how to set up a test to find out what a bean needs to grow and stay healthy. Lesson outlines are from page 26 of the pdf in Teacher book 2. A further test comparing plants could be set up to see which temperature is best for a plant to grow well.
Activity sheet 10 asks children to make close observations of different seeds using a magnifying glass. The class could use an electric microscope to look at the seeds and discuss any similarities or differences. Children could predict which will grow the quickest if planted, then set up and carry out an investigation to see which seeds grow the quickest. Each group could take a different seed type but remember to plant more than one seed per group as some seeds will not germinate!
This activity gives children a chance to bring their own ideas and materials and try to grow some plants from their seeds. Children bring in all kinds of seeds such as: conkers, acorns, and apple pips, provide the conditions for germination and observe them over time to see if they begin to grow. Some ‘seeds’ are likely to be more successful than others, but a little exploring and watching what happens can bring its own surprises and excitement.
This resource contains six activities that link to plants and cover aspects of working scientifically. They include: