Plants - Episode 2: my plant is alive

All living things share the same characteristics. Here is a series of short activities to be carried out with your pupils which aim to promote the discovery of these characteristics from the observation of the plants in the kitchen garden.

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All living things share the same characteristics. Here is a series of short activities to be carried out with your pupils which aim to promote the discovery of these properties from the observation of the plants in the kitchen garden.


The growth

The first common characteristic is that living things have a growth period.

The proposed activity consists of measuring the pupils at the start of the school year, when they return from the holiday holidays and then in June. This will allow them to realize that they are growing up.

At the same time, use strips of paper to measure the plant two to three times a week. Students can glue the strips into a notebook to build a histogram. They will thus understand that all living things grow.


The water

What happens if you stop watering some of the plants. Experience it so that your students will discover that water is essential for life.


The food

Germinate and grow plants in sand. Compare these plants with those that grow in potting soil. This activity shows that it is in the soil that plants obtain the nutrients necessary for their growth. Students will understand that all living things need food. 


The reproduction

Beans and peas are the easiest plants to illustrate reproduction to your students. The flower is the plant's reproductive organ. Fruits develop from fertilized flowers. When you open a pod, you see the seeds, which are like the babies of the plants.

Perhaps it is also an opportunity to discuss with the students the delicate subject of bees and flowers?



Yep, plants do move. They do not walk like human beings but they orient themselves towards the light. The classic activity is to place a box with an opening on the side above a green plant. Your students should then continue to water the plant regularly, each time replacing the box in the same place. They will quickly discover that the plant will orient itself towards the light accessible on the side of the box.

You can take photos of the plant to produce a short animated video that shows the movement of the plant.



Just like us, green plants breathe. However, during the day, the respiration function is camouflaged by the photosynthetic function of the plant.

The use of carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors or detectors makes it possible to record the CO2 emission of the plant when there is no light.


The sensibility

All living are sensitive. This property is sometimes less apparent in plants. However, if you crumple a leaf, it will be injured.

More than 700 sensory sensors have been counted in plants. To learn more about the subject of plant sensitivity, I suggest Wikipedia article entitled Sensitivity of plants.


With the help of these few activities and observations, the students will have discovered the main properties shared by all living things. These lessons can also serve as the start of a more philosophical discussion in which you get your students to think about what is essential and what is not necessary in life as a group. 


Some sites among many others

There are plenty of science activities to do with students around gardening and feeding activities. Here are a few more ideas:

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About the Author

Ninon Louise Lepage
Ninon Louise Lepage
Ninon Louise LePage is a pedagogue and museologist who recently came out of premature retirement to be reborn as an educational designation. She has taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Sherbrooke in science education, in addition to working at the Canadian Heritage Information Network as a museology consultant. She also writes for our French friends at Ludomag. She also invites all interested to contact her so that she can talk about you, your students, your school and your particular experiences in digital and computer education.

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