Plants: Prior Knowledge

What do we know about plants?  

Revisit what learners already know about plants and explore what they would like to find out. The activities provide playful opportunities to observe, compare and celebrate the plants in the local area.   

This is recommended as session one of the Key Stage One Plants Unit, identifying prior knowledge.  



Green Skills

  • Identification and ecology

Curriculum Links



  • Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees
  • Identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees  

Step by step

Quick Starter Activity

Have you ever spotted….?  

Click above to download this slideshow to share some images of common plants. You might like to add some more photos of plants from around your school site. Throughout the slideshow, ask your class the following key questions. Which of these plants:  

  • Have you seen before?  
  • Have features that help you to know they are?
  • Is your favourite?  
  • Is the most important?  
  • Might need extra care from people to keep them alive?   

Main Activity Suggestions 

Suggestion 1 (Outdoor)

National Education Nature Park: Shades of Green. With a focus on plants, this activity aims to support learners’ observation and recording skills, by photographing different plant colours and shapes.  

Suggestion 2 (Outdoor/Indoor)

National Education Nature Park: Plant Power Poetry. This guidance supports learners to use the shapes, colours, sounds and smells of plants and nature as inspiration for a poem. 

Suggestion 3 (Outdoor)

LtL: Parts of a Plant. This activity provides much more meaningful and sustainable method for learners to become aware of the roles of the different parts of a real plant compared to labelling a worksheet.

Top Tips

Spotting different types of plants and different colours can be more challenging in some seasons. Use these spotter guides to help your learners to become familiar with common plants in different seasons.