KS1 Science: Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.
- Large petal flowers such as tulips or daffodils
- Labelled diagram showing the simpler parts of a flower (adapt to group/class ability)
- Piece of A4 paper per child
- Pencils and pencil crayons
- Plastic gloves
- Ask the children if they know any of the parts of a flower and what they are for. For example, the roots take up moisture from the soil. Write their ideas on the board. Tell the children they are going to do something we wouldn’t normally consider – pulling a flower to pieces! Give each group the labelled diagram of the parts of a flower and ask them to try to decode some of the words. After some independent trying, be prepared to tell them the pronunciation of each of the labels. At this age, words like ‘roots’, ‘stem’, ‘petal’, ‘pollen’ and ‘leaf’ are appropriate but more able groups could try some more challenging words.
- Now give each group a tulip or daffodil (ask them to roll their sleeves up and wear the gloves – pollen from both of these flowers can stain skin and clothing). Ask them to gently take the petals off the flower and then look at the parts of the flower this reveals. Although the children may not be expected to name the inner parts of the flower at this stage, it is still interesting for them to look at them.
- When the children have explored the parts of the flower, ask them to draw a large picture of the flower they were given (with some of the petals removed) and label each of the parts themselves. Note that the roots from this flower are missing – why is that the case? For less able children, having some pre-prepared labels or stickers to help with this job might be useful. If some children might find the drawing difficult, consider pairing them with a child who may find it easier.
- Compare other flowers or flowering plants – all should have the same parts but smaller flowers may be harder to examine.
- Revise this work by showing the children a large picture of a flower complete with labels. Cover the labels with post it notes and ask who can remember the names they have learnt. Reveal as each part is named correctly.
Use play dough to recreate the parts of a flower and assemble correctly.
Make replica plants from modelling materials such as tissue or crepe paper (for petals), pipe cleaners (for the stem) and string or thread (for the roots)
Make a flower shop or garden centre for the role play area, with plenty of opportunities for writing and reading development such as care labels, price cards and leaflets.
Curriculum Areas covered:
During years 1 and 2, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
- asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
- observing closely, using simple equipment
- performing simple tests
- identifying and classifying
- using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.
Pupils should be taught to:
- identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees.