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Pollination and Fertilisation

In this worksheet, students will answer questions using the scientific vocabulary of flower structure, and consider in more detail the processes of pollination and fertilisation.

'Pollination and Fertilisation' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Living Things and Their Habitats

Curriculum subtopic:  Reproduction: Plants and Animals

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Many plants produce flowers.  Why?  It's all to do with how they reproduce themselves.

 

Some produce flowers that are colourful - they're the obvious ones.  They use insects, like bees, and other animals to help them reproduce.  They are used to carry the flower's pollen from plant to plant, and given sweet nectar as a reward.

 

Other plants make flowers that aren't colourful - they use the wind to blow the pollen around.  Many trees use this method, as do grasses, which is why so many people suffer from 'hay fever' - the pollen goes everywhere, including up your nose!

 

Flowering plants use a lot of energy producing flowers , but it's worth it in order the make the next generation of plants. Flowers contain the male and female parts needed for sexual reproduction.

 

Here's a cut-away diagram of a flower showing the various parts - take a bit of time looking it over and looking at the names of the reproductive parts.

Cut-away diagram of flower

 

It seems quite complicated, so let's break it down: the male parts of the flower are the stamens, which are made up of two parts: the filament holds up the anther, which produces pollen (it's the pollen-factory).

 

The female part of the flower is the pistil (also called the carpel). It is made up of four main parts:  the stigma at the top, which is 'sticky' to catch the pollen grains, then the style, which is a tube leading to the ovary.  The ovary contains the female cells, called ovules, which are the plant's "eggs".

Bee on a flower

Pollination is the special name given to the transfer of pollen grains from the anther of one plant to the stigma of another.  It's usually insects or wind that do the carrying, so flowers are often described as insect-pollinated (plants like dandelion, daisy, buttercup, which have colourful flowers, with a nice scent, to attract insects) or as wind-pollinated (plants like grasses, oak trees, stinging nettles which all have dull, greenish flowers and produce loads and loads of pollen).

When the pollen grain joins with the female egg cell, fertilisation has taken place. After this, the petals fall off and the seeds begin to grow inside the ovary.

 

Phew!  That was quite a lot!  Maybe you'd like to read that through again before tackling the questions?

The stamen is the male part of the flower and is made up of which TWO of these?

sepal

anther

stalk

petal

filament

What is the scientific name for the male sex cells of a plant?

 

Choose ONE answer.

eggs

pollen

anther

nectar

Pollen from one plant is carried to the stigma of another in which TWO of these ways?

 

Choose TWO answers.

by the wind

by sunshine

by honeybees

by earthworms

Flowering plants have evolved ways of attracting pollinating insects to their flowers.

 

Can you spot THREE of them from this list?

by producing nectar

by making a noise

by making fruit

by producing a scent

by having colourful petals

Pollen carried in the wind, for example: grass and tree pollen, can make noses run and eyes stream!

 

What do we call this irritation?  Type your answer into the box below.

The female part of the flower (the carpel) is made up of which THREE parts? 

stigma

style

sepal

ovary

petal

Below are three statements.

 

Look at each one and choose the one that you think best describes plant FERTILISATION.

seeds are produced in the ovary

pollen is received by the stigma

joining of the male cell with the female cell

Following fertilisation, what do the female cells develop into in the ovary?

 

Type your answer into the box below.

Here is a list of scientific words which we use to describe a flowering plant life cycle.

 

Can you re-arrange them in the correct order, for a plant life cycle, starting with the seed? 

seed

flower formation 

fertilisation

germination

seed production

growth

pollination

seed dispersal 

Column A

Column B

1st
seed dispersal
2nd
growth
3rd
pollination
4th
fertilisation
5th
germination
6th
flower formation
7th
seed production
8th
seed
  • Question 1

The stamen is the male part of the flower and is made up of which TWO of these?

CORRECT ANSWER
anther
filament
EDDIE SAYS
So many names in flowers! But practice makes perfect, so the male STAMEN has two parts: the ANTHER for making pollen and the FILAMENT to hold up the anther so that insects brush against it, or so that it 'catches' the wind (depends on the flower).
  • Question 2

What is the scientific name for the male sex cells of a plant?

 

Choose ONE answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
pollen
EDDIE SAYS
The actual male sex cells are in the POLLEN grains. They are made in the anther. Nectar is a sweet liquid produced by the plant to attract pollinating insects.
  • Question 3

Pollen from one plant is carried to the stigma of another in which TWO of these ways?

 

Choose TWO answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
by the wind
by honeybees
EDDIE SAYS
Wind and insects are the world's two main pollinators. At the moment there is a real concern over the decline in the number of bees - their loss would be a total disaster for the world's food production, let alone for the richness of plant and animal life. They are THAT vital! In fact there are lots of different pollinators (like birds, bats, mice, etc.) but it's 99% wind and insects.
  • Question 4

Flowering plants have evolved ways of attracting pollinating insects to their flowers.

 

Can you spot THREE of them from this list?

CORRECT ANSWER
by producing nectar
by producing a scent
by having colourful petals
EDDIE SAYS
Plants are very 'clever': they need their pollen carried from flower to flower, so to encourage insects to be their "postmen", they attract them to do the job by being colourful and having a sweet smell, these being advertisements for the sticky nectar which insects love. As they are busy collecting nectar, they get covered in pollen. Clever! Plants which attract night-flying insects use scent which is easy to detect in the dark, e.g. honeysuckle.
  • Question 5

Pollen carried in the wind, for example: grass and tree pollen, can make noses run and eyes stream!

 

What do we call this irritation?  Type your answer into the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
hayfever
hay fever
EDDIE SAYS
For those who suffer from hay fever, summer can be a total misery. Because the grasses, for example, use a 'blanket-bombing' method to spread their pollen around, it goes literally everywhere. Does the plant want it's pollen to go up your nose? No! It wants it on the female stigma of the right flower. But the wind blows everywhere, which is why we breathe in pollen grains and some people react to them.
  • Question 6

The female part of the flower (the carpel) is made up of which THREE parts? 

CORRECT ANSWER
stigma
style
ovary
EDDIE SAYS
Once again, flowers are complicated things, so you just need to keep working at all these names. Don't worry if you don't get it nailed in one go - just keep at it! Best of all, go out and look at real flowers and try to find the various parts and say, "Oo look - those are the petals, there's the stamen,,," and so on. It'll really help. So, the female carpel, usually in the middle of the flower, has a STIGMA at the top, where the pollen lands. It grows down the long STYLE and into the OVARY where the ovules (eggs) are waiting to be fertilised and turn into seeds.
  • Question 7

Below are three statements.

 

Look at each one and choose the one that you think best describes plant FERTILISATION.

CORRECT ANSWER
joining of the male cell with the female cell
EDDIE SAYS
In fact, pollination is the name for when the pollen is transferred from flower to flower, when it lands on the stigma. FERTILISATION occurs when the male cells, in the pollen grain, fuse with the female cell, the egg, inside the ovary. Only after that do the seeds begin to develop.
  • Question 8

Following fertilisation, what do the female cells develop into in the ovary?

 

Type your answer into the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
seeds
seed
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, once the ovules (or eggs) have been fertilised by the male cells in the pollen grain, the eggs develop into seeds. These are the next generation of plants and are rather like astronauts in a space capsule, ready to be flung out into a hostile world! They will need to find a new place to grow. But that's another story...
  • Question 9

Here is a list of scientific words which we use to describe a flowering plant life cycle.

 

Can you re-arrange them in the correct order, for a plant life cycle, starting with the seed? 

seed

flower formation 

fertilisation

germination

seed production

growth

pollination

seed dispersal 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

1st
seed
2nd
germination
3rd
growth
4th
flower formation
5th
pollination
6th
fertilisation
7th
seed production
8th
seed dispersal
EDDIE SAYS
OK, so if we start with the beginnings of a plant, ready to grow, that's the SEED. When conditions are right it GERMINATES into a seedling which steadily GROWS into a mature plant. When it is ready it produces FLOWERS to reproduce itself, using POLLINATION to transfer the pollen from flower to flower. FERTILISATION takes place when the sex cells join in the ovary and the ovules grow into seeds - that's SEED PRODUCTION. Finally, the seeds need to be spread away from the parent plant, to grow somewhere new - that's SEED DISPERSAL. Then the cycle begins once more. Got there? Well done!
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