Plants: Explore

What do we know about the plants around our school?  

Introduce learners to the skill of grouping, identifying and classifying common plants in their local area. Through using simple identification methods, learners can begin to know the different groups of plants on their school site. 

This is recommended as session two of the Key Stage One Plants Unit, exploring plants.  

KS1

Preparation

Green Skills

  • Identification and ecology

Curriculum Links 

Geography

Geographical skills and fieldwork 

  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key physical features of its surrounding environment
  • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to physical features

Science

Working Scientifically 

  • Ask simple questions, observe closely, identify and classify local plants

Plants

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

Step by step

Quicker Starter Activity

Read a story to celebrate and identify plants around us

Books often celebrate and centre around animals. Consider using a book focused on plants such as 'Tree Whispers: A Forest of Poems' by Mandy Ross or another book from the booklist created by the Booktrust 'Books about plants for primary school children'. These books can be a good way to explore and compare different plants. Discuss the following questions: 

  • Can you identify any of the plants from the book? 
  • Can any of the plants be found in our school grounds? 

Main Activity Suggestions

Suggestion 1 (Outdoor)

Woodland Trust: Leaf ID. This activity encourages learners to look closely and start to identify the similarities and differences of trees found in their outdoor space. They will ask questions and ‘really look’ to try and find the tree the leaf came from. This also introduce the concept of identifying plants on their site, by exploring the space and making observations.

Suggestion 2 (Outdoor/Indoor)

WWT: Plant detectives. This activity pack provides a range of activities and resources to support children to identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees.  

Suggestion 3 (Outdoor)

Nature Park: Leaf Identification. As with Suggestion 1, this activity encourages learners to look closely and start to identify the similarities and differences of trees found in their outdoor space. They will ask questions and ‘really look’ to try and find the tree the leaf came from. This also introduces the concept of identifying plants in their site, by exploring the space and making observations.  

Top Tips

This session can support learners to gain confidence in making observations, comparing and identifying different plants. This is an important skill that can help learners participate in the habitat mapping process, a key component of the Nature Park programme.