Classifying plants

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Stage Subject

Secondary science

Year Term

8

Classifying plants
Module contents Module focus Curriculum focus

To learn about the classification of plants.
Learning objectives

By the end of the lesson pupils will:


know that plants can be classified into groups depending upon their features;  be able to identify plant features of the four groups, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants.
Learning outcomes

Most pupils will:
 

name some of the main classes of plants; identify at least one feature of some plants and classify them according to those identified features.

Pupils making slower progress will:
 

name at least one class of plant; know that flowering plants produce flowers but other groups do not.

Pupils making faster progress will:


name the four groups of plants as mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants;  identify, giving reasons, the class to which a given plant should be assigned.
References

Strategy Framework references Interdependence Pupils should be taught to:
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

Identify some of the main taxonomic groups of plants and describe some common features.

The Framework for teaching science can be found at: www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/keystage3/respub/scienceframework/forew ord/. QCA scheme of work references Unit 8D. Ecological relationships The lesson will support pupils in meeting the expected outcomes of life processes and living things (Sc2) from unit 8D. The QCA scheme of work can be found at: www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/secondary_science/?view=get.
Use of ICT

Teacher use of ICT The module will give you the opportunity to develop skills in using:


computer and data projector with large display or interactive whiteboard for whole class teaching;  concept-mapping software to structure ideas and notes;  slide shows with a reveal facility to assess and consolidate pupils' scientific knowledge and vocabulary. Pupil use of ICT It will support your pupils in using:


concept-mapping software to organise and structure ideas and notes.

Requirements

Hardware


A computer attached to a data projector and large projection screen or interactive whiteboard  A suite of computers or sufficient computers for pupils to work in small groups, in pairs or independently  A printer Software
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 

Visual learning software, such as Inspiration Presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint

Other


Specimens and photographs of plants belonging to each of the four groups, which pupils sorted into groups in a previous lesson  Textbooks to be used by pupils to research information about the characteristics of the four groups of plant Trial or viewer versions of the software you need may be available from the Software downloads page.
Lesson preparation

A key element of this module is a lesson for you to adopt and adapt to meet the needs of your class. It is designed to help you evaluate the impact of using ICT for learning and teaching. Display and discuss the learning objectives and key vocabulary for this lesson with the pupils. The subject objectives for the lesson focus on pupils learning that features, such as vascular tissue and seed- or spore-bearing reproduction, can be used to divide plants into groups including, mosses, conifers, ferns and flowering plants. A computer and data projector (or interactive whiteboard) are required for the lesson starter and plenary activities. A suite of computers is required for pupils to carry out the main lesson activity in small groups, in pairs or individually, depending upon computer availability. The concept maps and presentation files necessary to teach this lesson are provided as resources. If necessary, you can amend them to suit the needs of your pupils or for use with different year groups. For ICT support, visit the ICT skills guidance tab. Vocabulary chloroplast, conifer, cuticle, fern, flowering plant, frond, fruit, moss, phloem, seed, spore, vascular tissue, xylem Health & Safety All standard safety procedures with computers need to be in place. Information can be found at http://schools.becta.org.uk.

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ICT skills guidance

The guidance in this section supports the ICT skills described in the Module contents.
Pupils' prior knowledge and skills

Pupils should already:


know that animals and plants are living and will be aware of some of the fundamental differences between them;  have classified animals as vertebrates and invertebrates and identified the characteristics of the five groups of vertebrate. (QCA scheme of work unit 7D Variation and classification);  identified some of the differences between plant and animal cells and will know that many plant cells are green because they contain chloroplasts (QCA scheme of work unit 7A Cells);  have looked at specimens and photographs of examples of mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants and will have tried to group them according to observable features and to justify their groupings. ICT Skills Pupils will need to know how to use concept-mapping software to:
   

open, save and print; create new symbols and images on a diagram; create links between symbols; format their work on the page using the arrange tool.

Starter

Start by reviewing pupils' knowledge of differences between plants and animals to introduce the idea of kingdoms of living things. Make sure pupils can see the projected image of the concept map Kingdoms of living things and say that there are other kingdoms as well as animals and plants. Ask pupils if they can name the kingdoms from the images alone. Double click the left lower corner of the images to reveal their names (or highlight an image with a click and then press CTRL+H). Remind pupils of the different plant specimens and photographs they sorted in an earlier lesson and show them some of them again. Discuss what they have in common and their differences and explain that plants can be divided into groups and that these include mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants.

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Main

Show pupils the prepared concept map Major groups of plants for organising information about the major groups of plants. Tell pupils that they are going to recreate their own maps giving features of each class. Stress that they should aim for at least four common features of all species in each grouping. Organise pupils to work individually, in pairs or in small groups depending on how many computers there are. Provide pupils with a variety of textbook resources and ask them to use information in these texts to create their own map. Note: some textbook and websites include algae as a group of plants. Algae are not mentioned in the concept map files supplied.
Plenary

Use the slide show Plant quiz as a 15 question quiz for individuals or teams to test their knowledge of the plant groups they have just investigated. Ask pupils to write True on one side of a piece of paper and False on the other. Start the quiz and reveal the first question. Ask all groups/pupils to vote on the first question by raising their True/False paper. Click to reveal the answer. For any question where many pupils have given the wrong answer, pause the quiz and use the opportunity to question pupils further to reveal misconceptions. If appropriate, make sure pupils have a printout of their concept maps to use for homework. Otherwise, collect the concept maps for checking before the next lesson.
Homework

Ask pupils to use books and other resources to find examples of British species for each of the groups on their concept map, or ask pupils to use a highlighter pen on their map and revise for a quick test the following week. Use an edited copy of the plenary quiz to test pupils in the next lesson.
Assessment

In assessing for learning you should consider the following points. 1. Ensure objectives are expressed in language that pupils understand. 2. Give pupils clear success criteria related to these objectives. 3. Give pupils opportunities to discuss their successes and challenges focusing on the objectives.
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4. Provide oral and written feedback to pupils. 5. Encourage pupils to explain their thinking and reasoning in a secure environment. 6. Provide time for pupils to reflect upon what they have learned and understood and identify any difficulties. You can find information on assessment for learning at: www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/keystage3/respub/afl_ws.
Adaptation

Most pupils are expected to complete all of the activities. If time allows you may ask pupils to add reasons for their choices to their concept maps, this will display their understanding of the scientific concepts. Pupils making slower progress could be given a modified version of the template Major groups of plants containing some characteristics for each group as a starting point you could additionally include questions such as, Which of the four groups of plants produce flowers? Pupils making faster progress are expected to complete all of the activities. You may ask them to produce the concept map in their own style identifying the class of plants giving reasons for their choice and providing several characteristics for each group. Progression In this lesson pupils consolidate their knowledge that plants and animals are two distinct kingdoms and learn about the features of four types of plant. In future work they will:


investigate habitats to see how plants are adapted to environmental conditions and how they interact with other organisms present (QCA scheme of work unit 8D Variation and classification);  learn about photosynthesis as the process which produces new plant biomass and its importance to humans (QCA scheme of work unit 9C Plants and photosynthesis);  explore factors affecting plant growth and the implications of managing food production for other animals and plants (QCA scheme of work unit 9D Plants for food).
Extension activities Spreadsheet worksheet

Using spreadsheet software, construct a worksheet which pupils could use to estimate population size by collating fieldwork data collected using quadrats.
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Click and reveal presentation

Construct a slide show with a click and reveal facility to build up trophic levels in food webs and chains. For ICT support, visit the Additional ICT skills guidance page.
Concept map

Construct a concept map to illustrate the relationships between environmental conditions and the organisms found in a particular habitat, or to illustrate the relationships between types of rock and the way in which they are formed (QCA scheme of work unit 8H The rock cycle). For ICT support, visit the Additional ICT skills guidance page.
Photographic presentation

Produce a slide show, with photographs and other images and using a click and reveal facility, to test pupils' understanding of Earth and space (QCA scheme of work unit 7L The solar system and beyond); characteristics of the different types of rock (QCA scheme of work unit 8H The rock cycle) or understanding of the reactions of metals (QCA scheme of work unit 9E Reactions of metals and metal compounds). For ICT support, visit the Additional ICT skills guidance page.
Further ideas

A useful website for pupils on classifying plants: www.biology4kids.com/files/plants_main.html. The Framework for teaching science can be found at: www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/keystage3/respub/scienceframework/forew ord/. The National Curriculum programme of study can be found at: www.nc.uk.net/nc/contents/Sc-3-1-POS.html. The QCA scheme of work can be found at: www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/secondary_science/?view=get.

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Additional ICT skills guidance

The guidance in this section supports the ICT skills described in the Extension activities.
Evaluation Lesson reflection

These prompts are designed to help you reflect on how the use of ICT affected your teaching and pupils’ learning. Prompts for reflection: 1. How did the use of ICT: • help pupils to make better progress towards achieving the learning objectives? • affect the pace of learning? • affect pupils’ motivation, interest and time spent on task? • affect your ability to differentiate your teaching and personalise pupils’ learning? 2. What knowledge or skills have you gained and extended in teaching this lesson? 3. What adaptations would you make to the lesson and its resources to suit the needs of your class? You may wish to create a record of your evaluation and save it as evidence of your professional development. If so, you can download a template containing these prompts and spaces for your responses.
Materials evaluation

These prompts are designed to help you consider why, how and when you would incorporate these lesson activities and resources into your curriculum and teaching plans. Prompts for evaluation: 1. What are the benefits of using these teaching and learning approaches and resources to achieve the subject objectives? 2. How do the suggested activities fit with your existing curriculum and teaching plans? 3. What adaptations would be required to the activities or resources to suit the needs of your class? 4. Are there any requirements for ICT equipment, other resources, space, etc. that might limit how and where the lesson is taught?

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You may wish to make a note of your thinking for your own records and to share with your colleagues. If so, you can download a template containing these prompts and spaces for your notes.
Download module Download module

You can download a module pack containing the lesson plan, resources, supplementary information and extension activities using the link below. The pack is in a zipped file to minimise file size, but unless you have a broadband connection, the download may be slow. To extract the files within the module pack you will need either Winzip or Microsoft Windows Extraction Wizard. This software is freely available and can be downloaded from the Software downloads page.

This document is part of a range of materials designed to help teachers teach using ICT. For more information, log on to www.teachernet.gov.uk/supportpack
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