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All living things are made up of a limited range of basic chemicals. Like Lego bricks, they can be put together in different ways and broken down to build something else. In a garden, leaves and other matter break down to form compost, which then feeds further growth. In leguminous plants, nodules containing bacteria help them to grow.
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First broadcast:
26 October 2007

Classroom Ideas

The basic chemistry of organisms can be explained, mentioning carbon, oxygen and hydrogen but concentrating on the nitrogen cycle. Students could carry out a card sort activity, organising the stages and processes. Practical investigation into the role of microorganisms, the process of decay and seedling development with and without nitrogen could be carried out. Discussion of nitrogen could lead into study of both natural and artificial fertilisers.

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