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Summer 1 2021

Whiskers and Watering Cans

Summer 1 2021

Science, English and Art

Thinking and Independence

Rationale: After finding Jasper in the classroom and hearing the story of how he tried to plant a bean, the children will be inspired to help Jasper become a better scientist by learning more about plants, how they grow and how to look after them. The school garden will be the ideal place to educate Jasper and he will ask a series of questions each week which the children will need to answer. They will tell him how to identify and name common plants and trees, explain the structure of a plant, introduce the life cycle of a bean, look at how plants are suited to their habitat and find out why plants need light, water and warmth to grow. The children will produce a “How to Guide” for Jasper to use when he is gardening. The children will show Jasper how this works by looking after and planting out the school garden. Back in the classroom they will explore narratives (Jack and the beanstalk), instructions and information posters.  The children will also show Jasper the beauty of plants and flowers by learning to sketch and use colour inspired by famous artist such as Van Gogh. This will all culminate in a garden party for Jasper!


The children arrived to find Jasper (a black and white cat), the book of Jasper’s Beanstalk and a pile of gardening tools on the classroom floor. The children shared the book and explored the story. Poor Jasper obviously knows nothing about how plants grow or how to look after them. Shall we help him?

Exploring and retelling Jasper's story!

We managed to answer Jasper's first question! We found out that there are different types of plants and trees. There are wild and garden plants. We even named them! There are also deciduous and evergreen trees. Did you know that evergreen trees stay green all year round?

We really enjoyed our observational drawing of tulips. We looked carefully inside the flower and found the anther, stigma and style. We found out that the petals are colourful to attract insects and the stem is strong for support but also has another important job which is transport of nutrients!

Can you change the colour of a leaf?

Today we had a problem to solve...Can we change the colour of a leaf. We had lots of suggestions of using paint, felt tips, chalk etc. and then we put on our science hats and thought about what we knew about plants. We agreed that plants need water, sunlight, warmth, soil, air and space. We talked about how plants need water (just like we do) and that in fact every part of the plant needs water. We wondered how the water was able to travel up from the roots and had some great ideas. We learnt about the Xylem that were like straws sucking up the water and taking it all around the plant. We then thought of a way to show this happening and our investigation began! We put some water into a cup and added food dye. We then added a stick of celery that had been freshly cut, mixed the dye and left it in the coloured water and waited...we needed to be patient!

We looked at our plants at the end of the day and were amazed to find that some of the celery leaves had started to change colour, showing us that the stem does transport the water around the plant! This is called, Transpiration! (We love learning big words!) We think Jasper enjoyed learning all about this too.

We can't wait to see what the celery looks like in the morning!

The Journey of a Sunflower Seed

We have been finding out about seeds, what they need to grow and the different stages of growth. 

We read a non fiction book all about the journey of a sunflower seed and then recorded our own zig zag books to show the different stages. We leant about how the seed starts to grow in the soil and needs water, warmth and nutrients to start to grow. The seeds begin to grow by producing a root, a process called, Germination. Then the seed produces a shoot that grows up towards to light and grows seedling leaves. The stem grows taller and taller and then forms a flower bud which slowly opens. The flower creates pollen and nectar and has lots of insects and birds that visit which then pollenates the flower and it can then grow new seeds. When the seeds are grown the flower dies and the seeds drop onto the ground, the ones that aren't eaten or blown away that is! Then the seeds lay asleep until the next Spring and the life cycle begins again.

We also found out about a famous artist called, Vincent Van Gogh and his painting of The Sunflowers. We then had a go at creating our own sunflower paintings...aren't they amazing!!...


The planting of garden has begun after lots of digging, adding compost and removing weeds. Some seeds we have started off indoors and others have been planted directly into the ground. We can't wait to see what appears. We have loved watching the tadpoles grow too! Some have back legs now!

Georgia O'Keeffe poppies - we had great fun looking at the detail of the flowers in this wonderful artists paintings. She paints detailed flowers, looking at the shape and colours.

What does a plant need to grow? We carried out an investigation to find out what plants needed to grow. We decided that we could test light, water and warmth. So we made one pot that had everything, this was the control to check that the seeds germinated when they had all the things! Then we took away light from one with black paper, put on in the fridge with no warmth and one on the window sill with no water. The results were amazing! The seeds with no warmth or water did not grow. The seeds with no light grew but they were yellow and really tall. We think this is them trying to find the light. What a great science investigation!! Now we know what plants need to grow.

Year 1/2 Garden Party to celebrate the end of our wonderful project "Whiskers and Wateringcans". We have learnt so much about plants to tell Jasper! We had a wonderful afternoon and even the sun shone for us! A huge thank you to Mrs Stake for volunteering so much time to help us plant out the garden.

Still image for this video