Plants

Science Year 3 Roots and Shoots

The alien beings on Planet Dock 5 need your help. They want to open a hotel for humans on their planet but they have a problem. It’s too far away to have deliveries of fresh food from Earth so they need to build a space farm for Earth food plants. The problem is, they have no idea what these plants need to grow. Can you help by becoming their Earth Plant Researchers?

Session 1 Space to grow

Objectives

You agree to help Zinnia, a friendly alien who wants to farm human food in space. She needs you to find out what plants need to grow strong and healthy. Are you up to the challenge? You will need to do some scientific investigation and research over the coming sessions.

Science Objectives
i) Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • 6 word cards (20 x 6 cm approx.)
  • A copy of the 2 task sheets each & some display shapes if you want to create a display

Additional Resources

  • Age appropriate non-fiction books on plant function, growth & structure etc.
  • Access to computers for research
  • Chunky permanent markers
  • A few trays of seedlings
  • Compost & 18 medium flowerpots
  • A calendar & sticky labels
  • Green photocopy paper & different shades of green tissue paper

Weblinks
A short compilation clip of plants growing from www.bbc.co.uk
Zinnia’s first message from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Set up an enquiry to test our theories on what plants need to grow and thrive.
  • Research plant facts using books and the Internet.

Activities

  1. Become Planet Earth plant research experts for an alien called Zinnia.
  2. Discuss and decide all the requirements we think plants need to grow strong and healthy.
  3. Set up a plant growth investigation to test our theories.
  4. Begin to take measurements of height and make notes on observations.
  5. Research some interesting plant facts from books and the Internet.
  6. Create a display of “Did you know …?” facts.

Investigation - observing over time
Make a list of what we know and what we want to find out. Plant some beans in transparent jars and place them in different conditions to begin some observations. Use data loggers and other equipment to record light levels, water etc.

Vocabulary
Plants, growth, light, warmth, air, soil, water, investigate, seedlings, research

Session 2 Roots, shoots and so much more!

Objectives

It’s time to check up on your investigation and see which seedlings are growing strong and healthy and which are not. Further broaden your plant knowledge by observing whole plants closely and making detailed, labelled drawings.

Science Objectives
i) Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers.

ii) Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant.

Working Scientifically

  1. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units.
  2. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths - Measurement

  • Measure, compare, add and subtract: lengths (m/cm/mm).

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Task PowerPoint
  • 3 Strikes and You’re Out PowerPoint
  • How to Play Flower Power PowerPoint
  • Games pieces and reminder sheet
  • Teachers’ notes

Additional Resources

  • Bean seedlings set up in the investigation last session
  • Task sheets begun last session
  • Scissors & glue sticks
  • At least 6 or 7 different species of whole plant including roots (more than 1 between 2 children)
  • Good quality art paper (white cartridge paper & some textured paper in darker earthy shades & grey sugar paper)
  • Good quality coloured art crayons (soft pencil crayons ideally)
  • Magnifying lenses (1 per child)
  • Dice (enough for 1 between 6 children)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Continue to take measurements and notes from our seedling investigation and make comparisons of their growth and health.
  • Make labelled, annotated drawings of plants from close first hand observation.

Activities

  1. Play a game to recap on plant knowledge and teach some new concepts.
  2. Continue with ongoing investigation of plant needs for growth and health, making comparisons and taking measurements of height.
  3. Closely observe whole specimen plants and make detailed, labelled and annotated drawings.
  4. Play a game to reinforce the various parts of a plant and their functions.

Investigation - analysing secondary sources, exploring
Use secondary sources to discover the parts of a plant and how they vary. Look at a variety of different plants making labelled sketches.

Vocabulary
Plants, investigate, seedlings, research, height, root, stem, leaves, flowers, petals

Session 3 Fruit, shoot, leaf or root?

Objectives

Zinnia makes contact again to check on your progress. Play a game to create a list of top human plant foods she will need to grow and discover the different parts of plants people eat. Discover the difference between fruits and vegetables and use your knowledge to classify food plants. Make close observations and create models of sections through different fruits.

Science Objectives
i) Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers.

ii) Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant.

Working Scientifically

  1. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units.
  2. Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help answer questions.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths - Measurement

  • Measure, compare, add and subtract: lengths (m/cm/mm).

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • A new message from Zinnia (film clip Z1 Play me)
  • Notes on how to play 2 learning games
  • Task sheet
  • Teachers’ notes

Additional Resources

  • Bean seedlings set up in the investigation and task sheets to record their growth and health
  • Flip chart and marker pens
  • 3 minute sand timer
  • A wide selection of food plants some sliced into sections prepared ahead if possible
  • A cardboard label for each food plant you have
  • A sharp knife and chopping board
  • Plasticine / modelling dough in a range of different bright colours
  • Sheets of black paper in assorted sizes approx. A4 – A5


Weblinks

Second message from Zinnia from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Continue to take measurements and notes from our seedling investigation.
  • Classify food plants according to the part of the plant that is eaten.
  • Create a detailed Plasticine model of a slice of fruit using careful observation.

Activities

  1. Continue with the ongoing investigation of plant needs, making comparisons and taking measurements.
  2. Play a team game to discover the huge variety of plants in their diet and create a list of them.
  3. Classify different foods as either root, stem/shoot, leaf, flower, fruit or seed.
  4. Create detailed models of sections through fruits showing flesh, skin, seeds etc.

Investigation - exploring/classifying and identifying
Make a list of plants the aliens will need to take to the space farm. Classify according to human use for leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruits and seeds.

Vocabulary
Plants, research, root, stem, shoots, leaves, flowers, petals, buds, fruits, seeds, classify

Session 4 Water for life

Objectives

It’s time to do a health check on all the seedlings that are growing without something – light, air, water, soil, warmth and space and begin to think about the differences they are showing and why. Investigate how water is transported in plants and also set up data loggers to record temperature and light over a 24 hour period.

Science Objectives
i) Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant.

ii) Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants.

Working Scientifically

  1. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  2. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Top Score Wins PowerPoint
  • Task PowerPoint
  • Task sheet – 1 per child
  • Plenary cards printed on double backed card & trimmed into 6 individual cards, teachers’ notes

Additional Resources

  • Bean seedlings in our investigation – make sure all labels are still clearly visible (redo these if necessary)
  • Session 1 task sheets to note measurements & observations
  • Tokens for the game - Top Score Wins, use counters, cubes or marbles – (up to 80 tokens for 6 teams)
  • 3 empty squash bottles with the labels removed
  • 3 bottles of different food colouring (e.g. red, green and blue)
  • Clear, sealable plastic tubs or bags to protect data loggers outside
  • Stems of white flowers e.g. carnations or chrysanthemums and sticks of leafy celery (enough of each for 1 per table next session)
  • Data loggers with light & temperature sensors & ideally software to display data in tabular & graph format

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Spot differences in the health of seedlings and begin to think about reasons.
  • Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants.

Activities

  1. Continue to take notes and measurements on the bean seedlings in investigation.
  2. Report to the class on how their requirement seems to be affecting the health/growth of seedlings.
  3. Play a team game to recap on knowledge gained so far and introduce a few new concepts.
  4. Set up an experiment to investigate the way in which water is transported within plants.
  5. Use data loggers to measure light levels and temperature over a 24 hour period.
  6. Make a summary of class findings from the seedling investigation with notes and drawings of results.

Investigation - exploring/classifying and identifying
Make a list of plants the aliens will need to take to the space farm. Classify according to human use for leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruits and seeds.
Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants.

Vocabulary
Data logger, light level, temperature, wilting, yellowing, requirement, measure, record

Session 5 Data, data, data!

Objectives

You have 3 scientific investigations to review and you need to gather all the data to give to Zinnia next session. It’s time to draw graphs, make drawings and write reports. Can you explain your findings?

Science Objectives

i) Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant.

ii) Investigate the way in which water is transported within plants.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  2. Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.
  3. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths - Statistics

  • Interpret and present data using bar charts, pictograms and tables.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Teaching PowerPoint
  • Plenary PowerPoint
  • Teachers’ notes
  • 2 task sheets – session resource (for medium and easy groups) task sheet 2 should be photocopied onto A3 paper

Additional Resources

  • Bean seedlings in our investigation and task sheets of data
  • Data loggers and software to display results in tabular and line graph form
  • Cut flowers and celery stems in coloured water from last session
  • A blunt food knife and chopping board per table
  • Graph paper, rulers, pencils, coloured pencils, pens

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Review the results of investigations and begin to draw conclusions.
  • Use scientific knowledge to explain findings.

Activities

  1. Review and discuss the data from the data loggers (light and temperature for 24 hrs) and explain patterns.
  2. Look at the results of the food dye experiment and draw conclusions on how water is transported in plants.
  3. Either draw graphs or write reports on findings and seek to explain and interpret results.
  4. Begin to learn about the 7 life processes common to all living things and tackle a class challenge to match scientific terms to pictures of each process.

Vocabulary
Data logger, table, line graph, bar graph, light levels, temperature, transported, results

Session 6 Space farm

Objectives

Zinnia is about to make contact one last time so you need to have all your data, drawings, graphs and findings ready. Test your knowledge with a quiz then design a space farm for Dock 5. Zinnia is so impressed with your research and your designs. She hopes that one day you may visit Dock 5 and stay in the Space Hotel.

Science Objectives

i) Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  2. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Recount: Zinnia wants you to write up one of your investigations as fully as you can so she knows how to carry it out herself. Include all instructions, results and conclusions.
Play-writing: Write a short play that shows what happened when Zinnia managed to come and visit your classroom to ask questions about plants.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Quiz PowerPoint
  • Answers PowerPoint
  • Quiz sheet
  • Answer sheet
  • Task PowerPoint
  • Teachers’ notes

Additional Resources

  • All of the learning, work and research produced over the block (assembled ready to report to Zinnia)
  • Large sheets of paper (A2 would be ideal)
  • Pencils, pens, rulers, coloured pencil crayons or felt tips
  • Camera

Weblinks
Final message from Zinnia from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Recap on all our knowledge and understanding of plants and what they need to grow.
  • Use knowledge of plants to design a space farm.

Activities

  1. Review knowledge and understanding by taking part in a quiz/assessment task.
  2. Recap on all the requirements of plants for health and growth.
  3. Design a space farm for plants with labels and annotations that meets all requirements.
  4. Receive a final message of thanks from Zinnia for all their help and research.

Investigation - exploring/pattern seeking/fair testing
Review all experiments and discuss findings. Make presentations to aliens via a satellite link!

Vocabulary
All vocabulary previously learnt in this block