Plants: The Key to Life

Information for Teachers

Curriculum links

Australian Science Standards

BS (ACSSU44) Living things can be grouped on basis of observable features and distinguished from non-living things

BS (ACSSU44) Characteristics of living things such as growing, moving, sensitivity and reproducing

DT (ACTDEK012) Food and fibre production and technologies in modern and traditional societies

UIS (ACSHE051) Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions

New Zealand Science Achievement Objectives

LW: There are life processes common to all living things and that these occur in different ways

LW: How living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes, both natural and human-induced

LW: Groups of living things in our world have changed over long periods

Helpful websites

You may want to direct your students to some or all of these websites to help with their investigations.

Students may want to learn more about one type of habitat, e.g. rainforests. They can do a search using the name of the habitat:

Type of habitat (e.g. rainforest)+plants+food chain

Type of habitat (e.g. rainforest)+plants+uses

Type of habitat (e.g. rainforest)+plants+threats

Type of habitat (e.g. rainforest)+plants+conservation

How to search the internet

1 Keep your request short

Fewer words will give a more accurate search.

2 Choose exactly what you want

For example: Arctic Circle Climate

3 Use quotes

Double quotes around a set of words tell the search engine to consider those exact words in that exact order without any change. For example: “Arctic Circle Climate”

4 Use the plus sign (+)

If you add a plus sign (+) between words, the internet will search for all the words. For example: migrate+birds+whales+mammal

5 Use the minus sign (–) to say what you don’t want

Use a minus sign (–) to show words you do not want to appear in your results. For example: if you search for burrowing animals and do not want mammals in your search,  –mammals will exclude mammals. Note that you need to put a space before the minus sign for the word to be excluded.

6 Be very clear about what you don’t want

Part 1
Ask questions and make predictions

After reading Plants: The Key to Life, you may have many questions about plants, and why they are so important for people, animals, and our planet.

List your questions

  • Compare your list with questions that others have.
  • Choose a question you would like to investigate.
  • You can work alone, with a partner, or in a small group.

You may want to choose one or more of these questions to investigate

Q1. What types of plants grow in different habitats?

Q2. What types of plants are most important to people, and to animals?

Q3. How do plants keep the environment healthy?

Q4. Why should we protect forests? What other habitats should we protect?

Go to Part 2 Plan and investigate →

Part 2
Plan and investigate

Do searches in the internet or in books or talk to people who can help to find the information you are looking for.

Your teacher may suggest suitable websites for further information.

Go to Part 3 Record and analyse data →

Part 3
Record and analyse data

Find a way of recording your information that will allow you to see any patterns in the data.

Data Chart for the importance of plants in different habitats
(Download and change to suit your information)

Download Chart
Go to Part 4 Evaluate the information →

Part 4
Evaluate the information

1. Look over the information you have gathered and the patterns you have found.

Are there things that each habitat has in common?

How are the types of plants in each habitat different?

How do the plants in each habitat help people?

2. Search for other patterns.

Why are some of these habitats in danger?

What can people do to protect important plant habitats?

3. Makes notes about what you find.

Go to Part 5 Communicate and share ideas →

Part 5
Communicate and share ideas

Look over all of the information that you have gathered in your investigation.

What are the most important ideas about plants?

Make a chart showing the most important ideas about plants in different habitats.

Download Chart
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