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Key Stage 1 QCA Science Framework
Links to Infant Explorer and Naturegrid
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Click below to find links and resources from the Infant Explorer and Naturegrid Websites that support Key Stage 1 QCA Science units. (If you want to return to this page after exploring the links and resources click on the back button in your browser.)

Life Processes and Living Things (Sc2)
Year 1

Plant EXplorer
Year 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unit 1A Ourselves
Learning Objectives
Children should learn
Possible teaching activities Learning Outcomes
  • that we have five senses which allow us to find out about the world.

Read the story "Sebastian's Waddle" to introduce the senses.

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Use the "Thinking Questions" to help promote discussion and develop pupils thinking about their senses.
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  • identify the five senses and location of the sense organs eg by pointing to them. Distinguish between the sense and the organ associated with it eg the eye is for seeing, the ear is for hearing
Take children on a sensory walk around your school grounds. Introduce the idea that they are going to explore their local area using their senses. (The only sense not explored here is the sense of taste, see QCA for ideas.)

1) Colour catching: looking
Resources:
A colour catcher for each child. Colour catchers are simply strips of black card with double sided tape on. (15 cm/3 cm). Leave the protective strip on until children are ready to catch their colours!

Activity:
Introduce the seven colours of the rainbow to the children. Challenge them to find all seven colours of the rainbow by using their eyes to look for colours in the surrounding environment. Once children are ready they can remove the protective strip to start collecting the colours. Encourage them only to take small pieces of leaf or petal, or to share their colours if they find a bigger leaf. (Safety! - Wash hands after handling plant or animal material collected outdoors.)

2) Smelly cocktails: Smelling
Resources:
An empty film canister for each child.

Activity:
Explain the idea that a cocktail is made of a mixture of different drinks and that their job is to make a cocktail of different smells! Encourage children to use their sense of smell to collect different pieces of plants in their canister. Children can share their cocktails with each other at a smelly cocktail party! (Safety! - Wash hands after handling plant or animal material collected outdoors.)

3) Sound counting: Hearing
Activity:
Ask children to stand in a circle and hold their hands, clenched in the air. Tell children they are going to count how many different sounds they can hear in a minute, by raising one finger each time they hear a sound. This activity works best when children close their eyes and concentrate on listening. They can then share how many sounds they heard and what they heard! Alternatively they could try and imitate the sounds!

4) Feely bag:Touching
Activity:
Give children a set of cards describing different textures e.g. rough, smooth, cold, prickly etc. Ask children to find things around them that feel like these textures and to put them in a feely bag. After collecting the objects ask children to take it in turns to find something in their bag that feels soft / prickly etc. This activity introduces the vocabulary of texture rather than asking children to respond to "How does it feel?". (Safety! - Wash hands after handling plant or animal material collected outdoors.)

  • to make and communicate observations and comparisons of humans and other animals
  • to match young and adults of the same animals
Use "The Lost Cygnet" big book to compare young and adult animals.
  • match adult with young and describe changes in familiar animals eg cats, dogs, hamsters as they grow (get older)

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The lost Cygnet

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Click here to download a Textease Screen to match young to adult animals.

Textease Screen

  • that animals, including humans, are living
  • to make observations of animals and use these to group them explaining criteria chosen
Use pictures or collections of small invertebrates and inanimate objects to discuss with children the differences between the animals and the inanimate objects or take children on a short walk to collect items eg coke cans, stones, snails, woodlice. Ask children to sort the collection into groups and explain the criteria they used.
  • explain reasons for groupings eg woodlice and snails move and, if necessary with prompting, group into alive and not-alive
  • identify the living things as those which feed, move and use their senses

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Set of animals (Local/British)
Set of inanimate objects

Click here to download a Textease Screen to sort animals and inanimate objects.

Textease Screen

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Unit 1B Growing Plants (This unit links to Plant Explorer)
Learning Objectives
Children should learn
Possible teaching activities Learning Outcomes
  • that there are different plants in the immediate environment
  • to treat growing plants with care
  • to make careful observations of one or two plants and of where they grow and to communicate these








 

 

 

  • that plants have leaves, stems and flowers
Challenge children to find as many different plants as possible in the school grounds. Use long sticky strips to collect one leaf or flower from each plant. (See Unit 1A on instructions for making sticky strips.)

Alternatively split your class into groups and as you explore let each group collect leaves of flowers from a different area e.g. playground, path, playing field, pond area. Then groups can compare the different plants they have discovered in the different areas.

Stress that it is important for children just to take one leaf or flower and discuss why it is important not to pull up the whole plant.

(Safety! - Wash hands after handling plant or animal material collected outdoors.)

As a follow up activity print out and laminate the flower cards
(see below) and see how many the children can find in the school grounds.

  • name some plants found around the school eg daisy, dandelion and name groups of plants eg trees, grass, pondweed, moss
  • describe orally, by drawing or in simple writing, what the plants are like eg trees are tall and have thick branches, dandelions have yellow flowers and green leaves and where they can grow eg there is grass in the path cracks
  • recognise when plants should not be pulled up

 

 

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Find the Flower
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Working from Plant Explorer, click on the "Parts of a plant" icon to view a simple flowering plant. Encourage children to explore the plant with the mouse and name the different parts. Children can click for more information.
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Parts of a plant
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  • that plants provide food for humans
Use the "Eating Plants" page in Plant Explorer to introduce the idea that plants provide us with food.
  • state that humans eat some plants
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Eating Plants
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  • that plants need water to grow.
  • that green plants need light to grow.
Use the "What do plants need?" page to review the things that plants need to live.  
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What do plants need?
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Unit 2B - Plants and animals in the local environment
Learning Objectives
Children should learn
Possible teaching activities Learning Outcomes
  • that there are differences between local habitats.
  • to make predictions about the animals and plants found in different local habitats and to investigate these.
  • to use drawings to present results and make comparisons saying whether their predictions were supported.

     

Ask children to compare two habitats one that can be found in the school grounds e.g. a pond, grassy area, school garden and one from the habitats represented on the Naturegrid site.
Ask children to predict and then find the type of animals they think will live in both habitats. Help them to describe differences between the two and begin to explore reasons for such differences. Discuss whether their predictions were correct.
This activity may be particularly useful for schools which have limited habitats in their school grounds.
  • identify differences between two habitats and living things found there eg by drawing and interpreting a picture saying whether they found what they expected

  • suggest reasons for differences eg it's too dry under the tree, there isn't any soil in the playground but spiders live between the bricks

Click here to explore
Woodland Explorer
Grassland Explorer
Pond Explorer
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To explore a tropical rainforest habitat read "Guess who?"
Guess Who?

  • that animals reproduce and change as they grow older.
Use "The Swan Story" big book to illustrate to children that animals in their local environment produce young which grow into adults. Use the pictures from the site to sequence the life cycle of a swan and ask the children to describe the changes they can see.

 

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The Swan Story

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Use the "Thinking Questions" to help promote discussion and develop pupils thinking about growing. To get back to these pages click on the back button in your browser.

Click here to download Textease Screens to sequence life cycle of a swan.

Textease Screen 1; simple picture sequencing screen.

Textease Screen

Textease Screen 2; simple picture and caption sequencing screen.

Textease Screen

  Draw together work in this unit by discussing the habitats with the children and asking them to produce an information sheet, for their parents, about these habitats and the animals and plants that are found there.  
Click here to download a writing frame (Microsoft Word doc) to help pupils produce an information sheet.

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Unit 2C Variation
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Learning Objectives
Children should learn
Possible teaching activities Learning outcomes
  • to observe and recognise some simple characteristics of animals and plants
  • that the group of living things called animals includes humans
  • to treat animals with care

Review children's understanding by presenting them with a collection of pictures and specimens of animals and plants. Elicit simple ideas about the groupings eg the plants have green parts, the animals all move. Ask children explicitly about some items eg a green animal.

  • decide whether a familiar living thing is an animal or plant and give a simple reason for the decision eg it has got leaves, it can move
  • give a simple reason why humans are part of the animal group eg we walk, we grow
  • recognise that animals need to be handled with care

Click here to view and print...
Set of animals (Local/British)
Set of plants (Local/British)


Click here to download a Textease Screen to sort animals and plants.

Textease Screen

that humans are more like each other than they are like other animals

to make careful observations to identify similarities

Show children a video of a variety of animals, possibly including those not found locally (or read the book "Guess Who?" to introduce a set of australian animals). Present children with a collection of pictures of humans and other animals and ask them to consider questions eg:
- in what ways are all the animals like each other?
- which are humans?
- how do we know?
- in what ways are all the humans like each other?
Ask children to suggest two answers to each question. Talk about children's answers with them, revisiting parts of the video/book if appropriate.
  • identify ways in which the animals are like each other eg they've all got heads, they've all got eyes, they all move
  • identify ways in which the humans are all like each other eg we all have two eyes, two legs
  • identify ways in which humans are different from many other animals eg we walk on two legs/upright, we don't have fur, we have hair

Click here to view and print...
Set of animals (Local/British)
Set of animals (Australian)
Use photos of the children in your class as the humans!

Read "Guess Who?" to introduce some of the Australian animals used in the above activity.
Guess Who

  • that living things in the locality can be grouped according to observable similarities and differences
  • to present results in a block graph
Give children a collection of pictures of animals (including humans) found in the local environment and ask them to find different ways of sorting them eg legs/no legs, fly/walk/slither. Talk with children about their groupings and help them to make block graphs showing their findings or...
  • choose a criterion for grouping
  • with help, present findings in a block graph and explain what this shows
click here to download some record cards (Microsoft Word doc, this file may take a few minutes to download) to collect information about the different animals. Then show children how to add this information into a simple database. Click here to download an Animal Information Magic database file.

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