Living Things and Their Habitats

Science Year 2 Gardens and Allotments

Have you ever wondered what home-grown foods might taste like? In this block, you will create a class allotment, grow and nurture your own plants by watering and introducing useful mini-beasts, understand how food chains work and understand that energy from the Sun is passed through each link in a food chain. In the final session you will sample some of the food you have grown and share this and an enlightening food chain dance with a group of visitors.

Session 1 Making a playground allotment

Objectives

Take large tubs and tyres into the playground and plant edible plants! Learn about the right conditions for growth and attracting the right mini-beasts to the allotment.

Science Objectives
i) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.
ii) Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats.
iii) Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.

Working Scientifically

  1. Create a tub allotment in the playground and plant edible plants.
  2. Make bird-scaring sculptures with found and recycled materials.
  3. Understand that allotments are habitats and that they will attract mini-beasts.
  4. Understand that growing conditions need to be right for plants to grow.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Bird scarers resource

Additional Resources

  • Plant labels describing the best habitats for allotment planting
  • Tyres or large tubs
  • Compost & trowels
  • Gloves for children
  • Sketch books & clipboards
  • Strips of plastic (milk bottle) and permanent marker pen to make labels
  • Young allotment/salad vegetables
  • Flowering plants
  • Sticks & string
  • Old forks and spoons
  • Old CDs & old musical instruments
  • Pieces of smooth metal

Weblinks
Tips for designing a children's allotment from www.nsalg.org.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Design, plan and create a playground allotment.
  • Understand that allotments are habitats that may attract some mini-beasts.
  • Understand the growing conditions needed for plants to grow.

Activities

  1. Create a tub allotment in the playground and plant edible plants.
  2. Make bird-scaring sculptures with found and recycled materials.
  3. Understand that allotments are habitats and that they will attract mini-beasts.
  4. Understand that growing conditions need to be right for plants to grow.

Investigation - exploring, problem solving, researching and analysing secondary sources
Take large tubs or tyres into the selected area of the playground and fill with compost to make a playground allotment. Plant edible plants (lettuces, etc.).
Make bird scaring sculptures with found and recycled materials.

Vocabulary
Growth, germination, planting, edible, mini-beasts, habitat

Session 2 Making a micro-habitat

Objectives

Tend to the allotment and review the plant growth. Are there any mini-beasts the allotment habitat would benefit from? How will you attract them? Make micro-habitats to encourage them to live in the allotment.

Science Objectives
i) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

ii) Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats.

iii) Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Observe living things in their habitat, consider why they are there and how they are surviving.
  • Review the allotment and consider if there are any other mini-beasts the allotment would benefit from and why. Consider how to create micro-habitats to encourage these mini-beasts.
  • Understand that different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of mini-beasts and plants and that they depend on each other.
  • Plan and create micro-habitats with the right conditions to attract specific living things.

Activities

  1. Review and observe the allotment, looking for mini-beasts and making micro-habitats for them.
  2. Understand that different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of mini-beasts and plants and that they depend on each other.

Investigation - exploring pattern seeking
Weed and tend to the allotment, understanding why the weeds need to be pulled out. Identify the weeds. Make flap pictures of the micro-habitat they have made and the mini-beast they hope it will attract.

Vocabulary
Growth, germination, planting, edible, mini-beasts, habitats

Session 3 Farming and food chains

Objectives

Find out more about farming first-hand and play farms in the classroom. Understand why farms are so important to the food chain and why farmers think protecting the environment is so important.

Science Objectives
i) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

ii) Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats.

iii) Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Recount: Write a recount of your visit to a farm or the farmer visit to your school for inclusion on the school website.
Letter: Write thank you letters to the farmer. Thank her/him for all the important work she/he does.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • 'Visiting a Farm' sheet
  • Matching game
  • Match the Food Chain game

Additional Resources

  • Photocopies of a local map (make sure it includes a farm)
  • Small world farm toys
  • Tuff tray
  • Several sets of wellies and overalls
  • Hat (for farmer role play)
  • Green apron and doctor's kit for vet role play
  • Bandages
  • Toys
  • Egg boxes
  • Bags
  • Telephone
  • Order pad and price lists
  • Plastic foods
  • Till with money
  • 'What the Ladybird Heard' by Julia Donaldson

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Look at a map of the area and identify any farm nearby.
  • Visit a farm or have a farmer visit the school. Understand the jobs a farmer has to do and why.
  • Understand the role farms play in the food chain and why they are important .
  • Set up and use role-play farms in the classroom.

Activities

  1. Become familiar with a farm near the location of their school.
  2. Visit a farm or have a farmer visit the school and gain an understanding of farming.
  3. Understand the role farms play in the food chain and why they are important.
  4. Undertake several role plays of different jobs associated with farming.

Investigation - exploring, researching and analysing secondary sources
Visit a farm or have a farmer visit the school. Understand the jobs a farmer has to do and why. Play farms with the small world play and set up a role-play farm in the classroom.

Vocabulary
Growth, germination, planting, edible, mini-beasts, habitats

Session 4 Food chain game

Objectives

Think about some simple food chains and make a food chain using laminated cards and string. Challenge each other to string them up in the right order.

Science Objectives
i) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

ii) Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats.

iii) Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand what is meant by a food chain.
  • Understand that living things need other living things to survive.
  • Explore the school grounds, looking for examples of food chains (e.g. living things eating leaves).
  • Create and check a food chain example.

Activities

  1. Explore the school grounds, looking for examples of food chains (living things eating leaves, for example).
  2. Understand what is meant by a food chain and that living things need other living things to survive.
  3. Make a food chain using laminated cards and string. Challenge each other to string them up in the right order.

Investigation - exploring, researching and analysing secondary sources
Make a food chain game using cups with photographs attached. Challenge another class to complete the food chains.

Vocabulary
Habitats, food chain, energy, transfer, predators

Session 5 Transfer of energy

Objectives

Think further about food chains and look at the transfer of energy from the sun, through the members of the food chain, and back into the ground. Can you represent this cycle in a dance?

Science Objectives
i) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

ii) Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats.

iii) Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Be able to describe how some animals obtain their food from plants and other animals.
  • Look more closely at what happens in a food chain. Understand that the sun's energy travels through a food chain and then back into the ground.
  • Interpret the transfer of energy in a food chain through a dance, using masks and torches.

Activities

  1. Understand that the sun's energy travels through a food chain and that this is called a 'transfer of energy'.
  2. Interpret the transfer of energy in a food chain through a dance, using masks and torches.

Investigation - researching and analysing secondary sources
Look more closely at what happens in a food chain. Understand that the sun's energy travels through a food chain and then back into the ground. Interpret the transfer of energy in a food chain through a dance, using masks and torches.

Vocabulary
Habitats, food chain, energy, transfer, predators

Session 6 Eating the spoils

Objectives

Harvest the edible foods you have been growing in the allotment. Study, smell and feel them before turning them into a class snack! Why not perform the Food Chain dance to an audience before you eat?

Science Objectives
i) Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other.

ii) Identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats.

iii) Describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Information text: Make posters persuading people to grow more food in their gardens and allotments; include useful tips on how to be successful.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Explain learning about energy, food chains and the co-dependence of plants and animals.
  • Harvest the edible foods grown in the allotments and study them carefully.
  • Review their gardening skills

Activities

  1. Perform the food chain dance to an audience.
  2. Articulate their understanding of energy, food chains and the co-dependence of plants and animals.
  3. Harvest the edible foods they have grown, eat and review their gardening skills.

Vocabulary
Harvest, grow, allotment, produce, soil, wash, cook, energy, food chain