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Primary Science - Plants

These resources are suitable for teaching pupils aged 5-11.

A series of films looking at plants and their various functions, including what they need to survive, pollination and classification.

Alongside each short film, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom.

The films are hosted on an external, non-BBC platform. The BBC cannot take any responsibility for recommendations or content promoted by third party sites.

1. Parts of a plant

1. Teacher resources

This film explores the different parts of the plant, including the stem, trunk, leaves, flowers and root. The function of each is explained through scientific enquiry and comedy, to give pupils a full overview.

Teaching Biology?

You could get pupils to draw a diagram of a plant and label the different parts. Alternatively, you could print off pictures of different plants and get them to label the parts - e.g. roots, stem/trunk, leaves, flowers etc. They could include a short description of the function each part plays.

2. What do plants need to survive?

2. Teacher resources

This film explores the causes of various ailments in plants, and under what conditions they can thrive. Through systematic and funny observations of plants being kept under poor conditions by plant shop owner, Ivy, the fundamental needs of plants are introduced, e.g. light, air, water, nutrients and space.

Teaching Biology?

After viewing, pupils could plant seeds in pots. When the seedlings grow, they could place the pots in different locations around the school. For example, they could put pots in sunnier and shadier positions. When watering the pots, they should give the same amount to each plant. The children could measure the height of each plant at regular intervals and plot the results on a line graph. You could ask the children to suggest reasons for any differences in growth between plants in different locations.

3. The anatomy of the flower

3. Teacher resources

This film introduces the anatomy of the flower, including the receptacle, sepals, nectaries, carpel, stigma, style, ovary, stamen and petals. By describing the functions of each organ in a simple, scientific and entertaining manner, it allows the students to get a full overview of the flower.

Teaching Biology?

You could get students to draw diagrams of a flower and label each part, including a short description of their function.

4. What is pollination and how does it work?

4. Teacher resources

This film explores the process of pollination and the role different parts of a plant plays. The process is summerised at the end though a song.

Teaching Biology?

This film could be used as an introduction to plants and reproduction. Pupils could write a non-fiction report on plant reproduction or the process of pollination. Working in pairs, they could create a series of cards depicting pollination, which their partner then has to sequence.

5. How does water gets from the roots to leaves of a plant?

5. Teacher resources

This film explores how water is transported from the roots, through the tubes in the stem, to the tip of the plant. This process is demonstrated with an experiment. White carnations are placed in water with different colour dyes in them. Eventually the petals adopt the colour of the dyes, thus highlighting the process.

Teaching Biology?

Before watching the film you could get pupils to try the experiment and predict what they think will happen.

6. Classifying and and grouping plants

6. Teacher resources

This film provides an entertaining overview of how plants can easily be arranged according to their common features and characteristics, for example: plants with seeds (e.g. flowering plants and conifers), or without seeds (e.g. ferns and mosses).

Teaching Biology?

You could bring in different variations of plants and get pupils to catogorise them using the information highlighted in the film. They could then choose one of the plants and make a poster labeling it's key characteristics.

7. Grouping living things

7. Teacher resources

In this film students will learn about classification of all living organisms, including animals, bacteria and plants. It highlights how to identify different classes of animal according to their attributes, using examples of vertebrates and invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish.

Teaching Biology?

You could get pupils to complete an activity on grouping other objects based on shared characteristics.

8. Are plants the same all year round?

8. Teacher resources

This film provides an entertaining overview outlining the differences between deciduous trees and evergreens, and their seasonal cycles, including budding and the loss of leaves.

Teaching Biology?

You could get pupils to research how different plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways. They could pick a plant in the school playground or at home and keep a journal; noting the changes they see throughout the year.

9. The impact deforestation has on plants and nature

9. Teacher resources

This film provides an overview of the dangers deforestation poses to plants and animals. It highlights the impact habitat loss has on animals, how it causes their numbers to decrease, even to the point of extinction. The impact it has on humans is also discussed. In particular, how the lack of trees to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen leads to increased air pollution.

Teaching Biology or Geography?

You could get pupils to look at habitats and food chains and what could happen if the deforestation continues. They could look at what the term 'extinct' means and investigate what has happened to other species of animals that have become extinct. They could then make posters, warning people about the dangers of destroying animal’s natural habitats.

10. How can we protect plants and nature?

10. Teacher resources

An entertaining overview of some of the ways we can help to protect plants and nature. This film looks at ecology, nature reserves and conservation, while also refreshing some of the topics covered in the rest of the series.

Teaching Biology or Geography?

You could get pupils to come up with a list of things that humans do that have both a positive and negative impact on the environment. For example: pollution, littering, deforestation, littering, animal conservation, growing your own vegetables. They could then make a poster highlighting the things the school can do to protect plants and nature.