Investigating Plants

Investigating Plants

Todays learning: (WALT)


  • Explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant
  • to turn ideas of their own, about what plants need to begin to grow, into a form that can be tested
  • to observe and make a day-by-day record of observations
  • to use the results to draw a conclusion about what seeds need to begin to grow and decide whether this is what they expected.


Lesson Activities / Tasks

  • Lesson Activities
    • Watch video - dialog below Or do own discussion of how to carryout investigation.
    • If you want to grow microgreens to use for this investigation the video about this can be found in the Yr1-2 theme “Plants – what use are they?”
    • Investigation is to see effect of light, water, nutrients & space on plant growth. Probably best done as a class investigation with each pupil just investigating 1 of variables so that each pupil has just 2 pots a control and either soil, water, light or space Or could even do in pairs with 2 pots per pair? Although video talks about size of pot being a variable which it is in reality it is not going to affect growth of plants until stage where they are becoming pot bound, and you won’t need to grow to this stage to get some results. So for cost, recycling reasons don’t worry about using plastic bottles. Either with plants from microgreens or with seeds
    • Complete relevant section of pupil work book
  • Plenary:

    • Do quiz for first section answers…

Video Dialog

  • Video Pt I What to investigate? What pots to use?

    • You are going to investigate what plants need to grow – what do you think they need to grow?
    • Think about what you have done in the past when you planted seeds and grew some plants?
    • Seeds are planted in soil, they are kept in the light and you probably watered them.
    • So that is 3 things they could need which we can investigate – soil, light and water.
    • We could also investigate how much space or room plants need to grow.
    • So let’s set up some pots – made from empty drinks bottles to grow the plants in
    • To make sure are results are valid or fair we need to make it a fair test – is there anything about the pots made from drinks bottles which might not make it fair?

    Video Pt II 1b Answers which pots Ask which  Compost

    • For a fair test the pots should all be the same size really – so you could use plastic cups like this..
    • But don’t worry if you have only got bottles – they probably won’t affect our results.
    • So what are you going to put in your pots to make it fair?

    Video Pt III Answers which compost Ask which plants

    • Well you should put the same type and amount of soil or compost in each pot – except 1 why?
    • Well as we are looking at soil as one of the variable or things that change that may affect how plants grow we need to use something other than soil in 1 pot.
    • We will use sand in 1 pot
    • To see the effect of water we will not give 1 pot any water after we have put a plant in the pot
    • To see the effect of no light we have made a lid for the pot and covered it with material to keep the light out.
    • To investigate the effect of space we will put more than one plant in one pot.
    • Does doing this have any effect on the test being fair?
    • That’s right it might so to make it fair we have put lids on all the other pots too.
    • So here are the plants we grew as microgreens – have you any thoughts on which plants we should use to make it a fair test?

    Video Pt IV 3.31 Answers which plants – all same type BUT plants different sizes so could use seeds

    • Yes that’s right we must all the same type of plants – they peas usually grow the quickest and have done here so we will use them.
    • Here are the peas – would using these plants make it fair?
    • That’s right they should all be the same size to start the investigation – we will use them as we have them but to make the test fair we could start with seeds.

    Video Pt V Planting seeds and final set up of investigation

    • We will put 2 seeds in each pot in case some don’t germinate – then remove 1 seedling if both germinate
    • For investigating the effect of space we will put 10 seeds on one pot..


  • VIDEO 'Investigating Plants?'
  • PUPIL WORKBOOK: 'Following poo...'

Outcomes: (WILF)

  • suggest how they should plant seeds in eg soil or water and what they should see if they grow
  • with help, produce a record of their observations and say what this shows
  • state that seeds grow into plants
  • explain that seeds need water, but not necessarily soil, to begin to grow

Teaching notes:

We are not trying to teach you how to suck eggs with the video for this investigation - but we hope it helps!

Last modified: Wednesday, 26 March 2014, 4:49 PM