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20 October 2014
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Biology: Green Plants as Organisms

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Green plants as organisms lesson plan

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KS3 Bitesize


  • All students will know how green plants fulfil the 7 characteristics of life
  • Most students will know that plants carry out Photosynthesis and write a word equation
  • Some students will be able to understand that both respiration and photosynthesis can happen at the same time

Bitesize English fish

National Curriculum

This lesson covers the National Curriculum sections Sc2.3 a-e. This includes the role and word equation for Photosynthesis and Respiration, and the role and sources of other substances that a plant needs. A Level 6 student will use appropriate terminology when discussing Photosynthesis and Respiration. A Level 7 student will discuss these reactions in terms of molecular changes.


  • 4 pots of seedlings, one grown normally, one put in a dark cupboard 7 days before, one not given any water for 7 days, one put in a bag with soda lime / sodium hydrogen carbonate to remove Carbon Dioxide 7 days before

Teaching activities


Brainstorm/Q&A to recap the 7 Life Processes: Movement, Respiration, Senstivity, Growth, Reproduction, Excretion, Nutrition


  1. Each student should fill in a table explaining how green plants fulfil each life process. Students may have problems describing how plants move (e.g. grow towards light), are sensitive (e.g. ivy growing around other trunks, Venus fly traps) and excrete so may need help. Emphasise that plants respire all the time. The tables / information needed could be prepared for a mix and match activity.
  2. Q&A Ask how plants usually obtain the nutrition they need to grow. What ingredients do plants need to grow large and healthily? Guide towards answers SUNLIGHT and WATER. Show the relevant seed pots. Use the 3rd seed pot to show plants also need Carbon Dioxide. Discuss importance of plant growth e.g. how lack of water has led to famine due to lack of food; how deforestation has added to the Greenhouse Effect.
  3. Show students that the PHOTOSYNTHESIS reaction can be written as a word equation Sunlight Energy + Water + Carbon Dioxide * _______ + _______. Finish the word equation for students, and emphasise that the glucose (sugar) made by the plant is used with Nitrogen to build the plant's biomass, allowing it to grow.


  • Using an outline diagram of a plant (showing roots and root hairs and leaves) brainstorm where plants absorb sunlight and carbon (from the CO2) through leaves, and water (giving hydrogen) and nitrogen through the root hairs. Students draw / annotate their own copies. Ask students if they can add on where plants obtain oxygen (leaves) and any other minerals the plant needs (root hairs)


  • Write a glossary for the vocabulary used in this lesson to explain what each means. Students may need to be given a list of the vocabulary.

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