At the start of this topic, I taught the children about plant reproduction. First, they labelled the parts of a flower to learn the vocabulary and then they dissected a flower each to observe the parts themselves. After learning about the life cycle of the plant, they created a drama in groups to act out the process.
Next, we looked at different life cycles (a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird). They had to compare them finding the similarities and differences.
This topic is very hands-on and practical and so it involved a series of Science investigations.
Measuring forces using a force meter in Newtons. Here, I taught the children to use different scales for the various force meters we have in school.
Finding out about air resistance using a spinner type parachute. This was a full investigation where I asked the children to plan their own experiment. They chose a variable to change from either the material, size of the wings, weight (with a different number of paper clips) or the size of the whole spinner. They had to make it a fair test so the rest of the variables had to be kept the same. The children made a prediction, carried out the investigation making a result table, drew a bar chart and wrote their own conclusion as to what they had found out.
Next was a friction investigation. ‘Which surface is the quickest for James Bond to run on to get away from his enemy?’ This involved using the force meter to measure the pull of a shoe along different surfaces. The children again predicted which surface would be the best for James Bond and collected measurements in their results table. They drew a bar chart and analysed the data in their conclusion. Finally they decide which surface was the quickest for 007.
After that, I wanted the children to investigate another slowing down force, that of water resistance. In this experiment, the children had to think of ways to slow down a piece of blue tac from sinking. I was amazed at the ideas they had when changing the shape!
At the end of the topic we talked about simple machines to help equipment move more easily, for example how levers, pulleys and gears work. In particular, I asked the children to make a lever to pull a 500g weight. They had to investigate what would happen to the weight, if they moved the fulcrum of the lever.