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Glossary of terms

A glossary is an alphabetic list of words with explanations.

Not dead.  Plants and animals that are not dead can use water and food, grow and perhaps even reproduce.

To look at or consider something in detail. Usually to try to understand or explain it.


A summary of what you think are the findings of your investigation.

Facts and information collected together for reference or analysis.

To describe the exact meaning of a word, sentence or idea.

To make something (usually a liquid) thinner or weaker by adding something to it (usually water).

A sign or indication of something that helps you to find facts and understanding.

All of the evidence on a particular subject

To inspect something thoroughly.

A test where you do a series of actions and carefully watch what happens in order to learn about something.

When a seed begins to grow and put out shoots after a period of no activity.

A place for something to live.

A hypothesis is an idea or explanation that you then test through investigation.

Looking for information and understanding.

To explain or find out the meaning of something.

Careful study or search to find facts and understanding.

Something that flows freely, like water or oil.

The description of the things (materials) and what will be done (method) in the order they will be done for an experiment.

softgreen or grey growth (fungus) that develops on old food or on objects that have been left for too long in warmwet air.

Minerals needed by plants in order to grow.  Nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

A pathway for nutrients or elements through one or more organisms and back to the environment

Observing or looking closely at something or someone.

Is anything that was formed by living organisms. Things such as dead leaves, animal waste and dead insects are all examples of organic matter.


An animal, plant or other type of life form.

A group of actions.

Soil is made up of clay, rocks and organic matter. Organic matter is made up of dead plants and animals.

A type of moss that grows in New Zealand. When dried, it can absorb and hold a lot of water, just like a sponge. Seedlings can be grown in sphagnum moss, instead of soil.

Clearly identified or described in detail.

When leaves are in daylight they release water through small holes in their leaves.  This water loss is called transpiration.

The amount of space taken up by an object or liquid.

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