Plants

Science Year 3/4 Greatly Green Growers

The members of the Greatly Green Horticultural Society (AKA The Greatly Green Growers) have been challenged to a growing competition by their rival town Croppingwell! The challenge is on to produce the heaviest marrow, the longest runner beans, the juiciest fruits and the biggest flowers! They need your help. Can you become their plant growing experts and find out through research and investigation, what plants need to grow as strong and healthy as possible?

Session 1 Let’s Investigate

Objectives

You agree to help the Greatly Green Growers in their growing competition and set up an investigation to find out what plants need to grow strong and healthy.

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 use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Challenge PowerPoint
  • Investigation Task Sheets
  • Research Sheets
  • Fact Display Sheets
  • Teachers’ Notes

Additional Resources

  • A variety of age appropriate non-fiction books on plant function, growth, structure, etc.
  • Access to computers for research
  • 6 word cards (20 x 6 cm approx.) and chunky permanent markers
  • A few trays of seedlings (beans are ideal - see Teachers’ Notes)
  • Compost, 18 medium flowerpots and sticky labels
  • A calendar (to help chn calculate the number of days on the investigation)
  • A copy of the task sheets each and some display shapes if you want to create a display
  • Pens, pencils, felt pens, pencil crayons, scissors, chunky display pens
  • Green photocopy paper and different shades of green tissue paper (if you want to display your plant facts as a beanstalk)

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. Discuss and decide all the requirements we think plants need to grow strong and healthy (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Set up a plant growth investigation to test our theories (Yrs 3&4).
  3. Begin to take measurements of height and make notes on observations (Yrs 3&4).
  4. Research some interesting plant facts from books and the Internet and create a display of “Did you know …?” facts (Yr3 - 3 facts, Yr4 - 5 facts).

Investigation - exploring over time/fair testing/analysing secondary sources
You agree to help the Greatly Green H. Society and become their plant experts. Discuss what you think plants need to become strong and healthy and list these possible requirements. In groups, set up an investigation to test the importance of each requirement – light, water, space, soil/ nutrients, air.
Year 3 - Research 2 plant facts.
Year 4 - Research 4 plant facts.

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

Session 2 Roots, Shoots and So Much More!

Objectives

The Greatly Green Growers are very excited that you can help them win the growing competition so you need to continue your quest to discover more about plants. You will need to measure your investigation seedlings to record their progress and study some whole plants at close range, making beautiful detailed drawings and scientific observation.

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
Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay].

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 (for recording observations from the investigation)
  • Pencils, pens, rulers, scissors, glue sticks
  • A variety of different whole plants including roots (see Teachers’ Notes) at least 6 or 7 diff. species and enough for more than 1 between 2 children. These specimen plants should be placed on sheets of card before the lesson so they can be brought out quickly
  • Good quality art paper (white cartridge paper and some textured paper in darker earthy shades, e.g. black, brown, green and grey sugar paper) cut into sizes similar to your whole plants
  • Good quality coloured art crayons (soft pencil crayons are preferable to pastels as they will give finer definition to lines)
  • Magnifying lenses (1 per child) and dice (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 (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Continue with ongoing investigation of plant needs for growth and health, making comparisons and taking measurements of height (Yrs 3&4).
  3. Closely observe whole specimen plants and make detailed, labelled and annotated drawings (Yr3 - 3 annotations, Yr4 – 5 annotations).
  4. Play a game to reinforce the various parts of a plant and their functions (Yrs 3&4).

Investigation - exploring over time/observation
Continue with the ongoing investigation to find the requirements of seedlings for strong healthy growth. Make close observational drawings of whole plant specimens.
Year 3 - Write at least 3 annotated labels
Year 4 - Write 5 annotated labels

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

Session 3 Fruit, Shoot, Leaf or Root?

Objectives

The Greatly Green Growers need some help to decide what to plant. The judges have given them a chart with a list of categories that have strange names like vegetable flowers, stem vegetables and salad fruits. Can you use your scientific observation and research skills to find out which varieties would be best for them to grow?

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). (Yr 3)
  • Estimate, compare and calculate different measures. (Yr 4)

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Challenge PowerPoint
  • Task Sheets
  • Teachers’ Notes

Additional Resources

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

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 estimates and comparisons and taking measurements (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Classify different foods as either root, stem/shoot, leaf, flower, fruit or seed (Yr3 - 2 foods per category, Yr4 – classify all foods).
  3. Create detailed models or pastel drawings of sections through fruits showing flesh, skin, seeds etc. (Yrs 3&4).

Investigation - exploring over time/observation/classifying and identifying
The Greatly Green Growers have given you a list of all the classes in the growing competition. It includes rhubarb, marrows, beans, cabbages, raspberries and flowers. Continue the seedling investigation, then think about all the different parts of a plant and do a food classification task.
Year 3 - Classify 2 foods in each group (e.g. leaves, stems, flowers, fruits).
Year 4 - Classify all the foods.

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

Session 4 Crucial Requirements!

Objectives

The Greatly Green Growers have some more questions for you! They need to know if seedlings on a window sill will get as much light as seedlings outside and also how water is transported within a plant. It’s time to set up some scientific investigations to find some answers!

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, 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

  • Challenge PowerPoint
  • Top Score Wins PowerPoint
  • Task sheets (Yr3/Yr4) - 1 per child
  • Plenary cards printed on double backed card and 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)
  • Task sheets (from Session 1) to note measurements and observations
  • Tokens for the game - Top Score Wins, use counters, cubes or marbles - you will need up to 80 tokens for 6 teams
  • 3 empty squash bottles with the labels removed, cut the neck and “shoulders” off one bottle to make a straight sided plastic vase
  • 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 and temperature sensors and ideally software to display data in tabular and 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 investigation and report to the class on how their requirement seems to be affecting health and growth (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Set up an experiment to investigate the way in which water is transported within plants (Yrs 3&4).
  3. Use data loggers to compare light (and temperature) levels inside and outside (Yrs 3&4).
  4. Make a summary of class findings from the seedling investigation with notes and drawings of results (Yr3 - brief notes and a drawing, Y4 - more detailed notes including measurements and a drawing).

Investigation - fair testing/problem solving/exploring over time
It’s time to compare the seedlings and think about our findings and what they mean. Take more measurements/ notes and report to the class. Set up further investigations with data loggers (light and temp) and food dye (water transport).
Compare the health of seedlings with none of each requirement to a healthy control plant. Draw each and make notes (both).
Year 3 - Prompt with key words e.g. leggy, yellowed, wilting
Year 4 - Encourage more independence

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

Session 5 Data! Data! Data!

Objectives

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

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. 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 (Yr3).
  • Interpret and present discrete and continuous data using appropriate graphical methods, including bar charts and time graphs (Yr4).

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Teaching PowerPoint
  • Plenary PowerPoint
  • Year 3 Task Sheet
  • Results Summary Sheet
  • Teachers’ Notes

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
  • Yr4 will need access in pairs to data logger light readings in the 2 locations - either a printout or digital access

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

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

Activities

  1. Review and discuss the data from the data loggers, make comparisons and explain patterns (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Look at the results of the food dye experiment and draw conclusions on how water is transported in plants (Yrs 3&4).
  3. Either draw line graphs (Yr4) or write reports on findings (Yr3) and seek to explain and interpret results (Yrs 3&4).

Investigation - fair testing/problem solving/exploring over time
Look at the data from the data loggers and food dye investigation. What does this mean for the Greatly Green Growers? Review data, draw graphs, discuss and interpret findings.
Year 3 - Provide support and prompts to complete tasks.
Year 4 - Encourage a greater degree of independence.

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

Session 6 Growing for Success!

Objectives

It’s time to test your knowledge on Plants by taking part in a quiz before putting together your final information and advice for the Greatly Green Growers. Will it be enough to help them grow the strongest, healthiest plants possible and win their growing competition against Croppingwell? It’s up to you!

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 findings.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Quiz, Answers and Plenary PowerPoints
  • Blank Quiz Answer Sheet
  • Quiz answers
  • Y3 Graph Paper
  • Y4 Task Sheets
  • Teachers’ Notes

Additional Resources

  • All of the learning, work and research produced over the block (assembled ready to report to the GGGs)
  • Pencils, pens, rulers, coloured pencil crayons or felt tips

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Recap on all their knowledge and understanding of plants and what they need to grow.
  • Use notes and data from investigations to draw conclusions and present findings.

Activities

  1. Review their knowledge and understanding of plants by taking part in a quiz/ assessment task (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Recap on all the requirements of plants for health and growth by either: drawing graphs of the results of the seedling investigation (Yr3) or using the findings to give detailed advice on growing strong, healthy plants (Yr4).

Investigation - analysing secondary sources
It’s time to put together an advice pack for the Greatly Green Growers. Work together in groups to assemble data, graphs and notes on all the investigations. Make an advice leaflet to help them understand all the requirements and how they can maximise the growth of their plants for the competition.
Year 3 /Year 4 - Work together to make the advice packs and leaflets. Have higher expectations of Year 4s.

Vocabulary
All vocabulary previously learnt in this block