The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

What Do Plants Need? 2

In this worksheet, students will be helped to improve their understanding of how plants work, how they make food, what they do with that food and what they need to grow successfully.

'What Do Plants Need? 2' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Plants

Curriculum subtopic:  Requirements for Life and Growth

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

So many plants out there - trees, bushes, seaweeds, grasses - the list goes on and on.  They're massively different so do they need massively different things or are there some basics they all need?

 

Selection of plants in pots

 

So, in this worksheet you'll find a series of questions about what plants need to grow healthily and well. 

All you have to do is to answer the questions by choosing from the list of possible answers given.  Easy!

 

So, let's see what plants really need!

Which part of the plant is the main part that makes the plant's food?

Flower

Leaf

Root

Pick TWO things from this list that plants do with the food they make:

grow

absorb water

take in light

make seeds

Do all animals depend on the food that plants make?

Yes

No

Pick THREE things from this list that plants must have in order to make their food:

air

water

soil

wind

light

plant growth food

Imagine that a well-watered potted plant is kept in the dark for two days.

Pick from the list the option that is most likely to happen:

it will shrivel up and die

it will turn yellow

it will stop growing

Imagine a pot plant is kept on a warm, sunny windowsill for two days without being watered.

 

What is most likely to happen to it?

it will shrivel up and die

its leaves will droop

it will grow as normal

Imagine a well-watered pot plant is sealed inside a transparent plastic bag and left on the windowsill for a week.

What do you think is most likely to happen to it?

it will shrivel up and die

it will turn yellow

it will grow as normal

The roots of many plants spread out for some distance in the soil.

Tangled tree roots

Pick TWO reasons why this is important to the plant.

it prevents other plants growing there

it increases the amount of water the plant can absorb

it helps the plant to stay stable

it helps the plant to absorb more air from the soil

it makes it more difficult for moles to damage it

Two identical trays of pea plants were planted as follows:

  • one in compost/soil mixture
  • one in damp sand

Both samples of plants grew for two weeks and then their height was measured. It was found that most of the pea plants growing in compost/soil were taller than the ones growing in damp sand.

Pick ONE reason that might explain this.

compost/soil has more mineral nutrients in it

the sand is no good for roots to grow in

the sand became hotter in the day, making it hard for the plants to grow

In the early 1600s, a scientist called Jan van Helmont grew a small tree in a pot. He weighed the soil and the sapling and then let it grow. After five years he weighed the soil and the tree again. He found that the tree was more than 70kg heavier while the soil had barely changed.

Which of these conclusions do you think best explain's van Helmont's results?

the tree became heavier because it was using up food from the soil to grow

the tree became heavier by making food from the air, water and sunlight and turning it into new plant material

the tree became heavier by taking water up from the soil and storing it over time

  • Question 1

Which part of the plant is the main part that makes the plant's food?

CORRECT ANSWER
Leaf
EDDIE SAYS
The leaves contain the green pigment (called chlorophyll) that has the amazing ability to absorb light and use that energy to make food for the plant.
  • Question 2

Pick TWO things from this list that plants do with the food they make:

CORRECT ANSWER
grow
make seeds
EDDIE SAYS
The food that plants make is called sugar and they use it to make new shoots, leaves, roots, etc., in other words they grow. They also store food in the seeds to start off the new plant when it begins to germinate (rather like food in a spaceship landing on Mars!).
  • Question 3

Do all animals depend on the food that plants make?

CORRECT ANSWER
Yes
EDDIE SAYS
You might think that meat-eaters (carnivores) like an otter doesn't get food from plants. However all the energy in a food chain comes from plants and it is transferred from animal to animal (from the plant to the shrimp to the fish to the otter, for example).
  • Question 4

Pick THREE things from this list that plants must have in order to make their food:

CORRECT ANSWER
air
water
light
EDDIE SAYS
Air, water and light are the ingredients that must ALL be present for the plant to be able to make its own food. Soil and plant growth food provide vital minerals for health but are not essential (you can grow cress on kitchen towel!).
  • Question 5

Imagine that a well-watered potted plant is kept in the dark for two days.

Pick from the list the option that is most likely to happen:

CORRECT ANSWER
it will stop growing
EDDIE SAYS
Two days is not long enough to affect the colour of the plant. Without light it will use up any food it has stored and then it cannot make any more so it will stop growing.
  • Question 6

Imagine a pot plant is kept on a warm, sunny windowsill for two days without being watered.

 

What is most likely to happen to it?

CORRECT ANSWER
its leaves will droop
EDDIE SAYS
To start off with it will be fine but as the days go by, and the plant uses up most of the water in the soil, its leaves will droop (they use water to keep them rigid, rather like our bones do for us).
  • Question 7

Imagine a well-watered pot plant is sealed inside a transparent plastic bag and left on the windowsill for a week.

What do you think is most likely to happen to it?

CORRECT ANSWER
it will grow as normal
EDDIE SAYS
You might be surprised to discover that it will grow as normal. As long as it has light, the plant can recycle its water and the gases it needs in the air. In fact many people have plants sealed inside giant glass jars in their living rooms (they're called indoor gardens).
  • Question 8

The roots of many plants spread out for some distance in the soil.

Tangled tree roots

Pick TWO reasons why this is important to the plant.

CORRECT ANSWER
it increases the amount of water the plant can absorb
it helps the plant to stay stable
EDDIE SAYS
A plant's roots are vital not only for absorbing water, and transporting it to the rest of the plant, but also for helping the plant to remain stable in the soil, even when the wind blows hard!
  • Question 9

Two identical trays of pea plants were planted as follows:

  • one in compost/soil mixture
  • one in damp sand

Both samples of plants grew for two weeks and then their height was measured. It was found that most of the pea plants growing in compost/soil were taller than the ones growing in damp sand.

Pick ONE reason that might explain this.

CORRECT ANSWER
compost/soil has more mineral nutrients in it
EDDIE SAYS
Damp sand is fine for many plants to anchor themselves in but it provides very little in the way of minerals (like nitrates) that plants need to grow well.
  • Question 10

In the early 1600s, a scientist called Jan van Helmont grew a small tree in a pot. He weighed the soil and the sapling and then let it grow. After five years he weighed the soil and the tree again. He found that the tree was more than 70kg heavier while the soil had barely changed.

Which of these conclusions do you think best explain's van Helmont's results?

CORRECT ANSWER
the tree became heavier by taking water up from the soil and storing it over time
EDDIE SAYS
The tree did take in water but it didn't store it. The tree became heavier because it used light energy to change the water (from the soil) and air (the leaves took in) into food which it used to grow (more leaves, roots, branches). Scientists call this process photosynthesis because it is run by light.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Start your £1 trial

Start your trial for £1