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Plant parts

Curriculum links:

England and Wales: Green plants as organisms: b) role of the leaf in producing new materials for growth; role of root and stem.

Scotland: The processes of life; structures and functions of the parts of a flowering plant.

Northern Ireland: Animals and plants.

The Activity

In the classroom
You will need: samples of some common plants; plant field guides such as the Collins guides, Octopus colour guides or Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness handbooks.

Divide the class into groups and practise identifying the plants you brought in. Explain what they need to look at to identify plants: the shape of the leaves and how they are arranged; the colour of the flowers, how many petals they have and whether they grow singly or in a cluster.

It would be useful to provide dandelions for dissection in order to see clearly identifiable root, leaves, stem and flower. Discuss parts of the plant and their functions.

Print off a worksheet to take to the hedgerow.

At the hedgerow

Take the worksheet to the hedgerow and look out for wildflowers.

  • Identify the plants, and discuss why certain types grow there.
  • Is it because there is leaf litter, or perhaps protection from grazing animals and weather?
  • Is there water available if the hedge is near a ditch?
  • Study a plant to identify the various parts, or you could bring back plant samples (common plants only - it is illegal to pick rare plants)and do the identification work in the classroom.
  • You could try to age the hedge using Hooper's Rule. (See worksheet)