Living things & the processes of life - Processes of life - Introducing living things - G2
This is the Teacher's Guide for this targetThis is the Teacher's Guide for this targetTeacher's Guide


1. It might be useful here to scout around the school and see if someone has a withering pot of plants on a dusty windowsill, or leave a plant without water deliberately to use as an example. Compare it with a healthy plant to stimulate discussion.
2. Halved plastic lemonade bottles or clear plastic cups make useful containers for growing things and kitchen towel or paper hand towels are easier to come by than traditional blotting paper as an absorbent surround for germinating seeds.

Broad beans are ideal because of the size for ease of handling and their quick germination although cress and mung beans have the advantage of being edible after a short time. The seeds should be checked every day for growth.

A16a (G) can be used to record the changing seeds.

It might be appropriate to carry out a germination investigation at this time. Ask the children what they think the seeds need to make them grow (germinate). Choose one or two of their ideas including water which the children will probably have supplied (if not steer them towards it!). See Investigation.

cressPut some cress seeds onto some cotton wool at the bottom of a yoghurt carton or petri dish (a clear flat plastic dish with a loose fitting lid available very cheaply from educational suppliers). Do exactly the same for another two dishes. Add a little water to one of the dishes, do nothing to another and try out one of the children’s other ideas for the third.

Put all the dishes in the same place (unless the third dish needs to be put near heat or in a cupboard to try out the idea) and check their progress over the next few days. Ask the children to predict which seeds will germinate first. Let the children discover that the one with water has started to germinate but the ones without have not.
3. The children’s experience may be limited on the subject of which animals look after their young and it may be helpful to watch a video about the subject. There are several excellent videos available which are most suitable for young children e.g. Dorling Kindersley series.
5. It might be useful for the children to make a plasticine pet and the things it needs to keep it healthy and then to talk about how they would care for it and keep it healthy.

This might also be an appropriate time to talk about keeping themselves healthy - washing, cleaning teeth etc.

A16b (G) can be used for the children to draw things about their pet.