KS1 Science: Y1: Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees

Resources needed:

  • A digital camera
  • A clipboard or notebook and pen per child
  • Illustrated books on plants and trees
  1. Explain to the children that you are going to find and name some plants and trees. What kind of plants and trees do they already know about? Can they name the features (such as colour of flowers, size of leaves etc.?) http://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/key-stage-1 has some spotter sheets which could be useful.
  2. Take the children out on a nature walk. Give each pair or group a clipboard and ask them to sketch and label the plants, flowers and trees they come across. Try to take as many pictures as possible for later on.
  3. Encourage the children to look really closely at the plants they come across – do the leaves have tiny hairs? What shape and size are the leaves? Are there flowers? How many and what colour are they? Is there any wildlife around? What size is the plant/tree? How might it be different if the season changed? If possible, collect fallen samples such as leaves or acorns but explain to the children that plants are better left unpicked as they are more useful to wildlife such as bees and butterflies that way.
  4. Once back in the classroom, give the children the books in order for them to be able to identify the plants and trees they have seen. They could also use the internet to try to work out what sort of plants they have identified.
  5. Turn the pictures and photographs into a non-fiction resource for the classroom. Give each plant or tree its own page, with a photograph, labelled sketch, list of facts and any other information the children feel should be included.
  6. Broaden this research into homework, by giving each child a particular plant or tree to investigate.

Further Activities:

Turn an area of the classroom into a nature table and/or nature wall. Encourage the children to bring in books, pictures, sketches and samples of things to go on the table. Make labels to go with everything and group similar plants together.

Make a game of tree and plant bingo – draw or print pictures and stick them on a 3 x 3 grid. Encourage the children to look out for those plants or trees on their journeys to school, or when they are out and about. They can tick or cross them off as they do so – who can find them all first?

Make 3d models of plants and trees using papier-mâché or other crafting techniques.

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 name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees

Science Curriculum Resources: