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Plants are Earth's engine.

He tipu te mihini o te ao.

Year 5 - 6 students
Big Question

How can you show plants are alive?

A Kakapo. A New Zealand green flightless parrot

To answer a big question you will have to investigate.  Scientists use scientific investigations to answer big questions.

Soil Food Society

You will have to find a way of measuring a plant’s living processes  to tell if plants are alive.

Questioning will help you work out what sort of investigation is needed. These questions ask about how plants use water.

Soil Food Society
Soil Food Society
  • How do plants use water? 
  • What does it mean if plants are using water?
  • How can you show that plants are using water?
Soil Food Society

An experiment can be part of your investigation

Soil Food Society
Soil Food Society
The germinating  seeds experiment
Place some seeds on a folded paper towel resting in a container that has a lid. Add enough water to soak the paper towel. 
Place some more seeds on a folded paper towel in another container. Do not add water to this one. Put lids on both of the containers and put them in an area lit by natural light - but not in direct sunlight.
Read the materials and method here.

Watch the video to see how the experiment works.

Take photographs of your experiment to help when you publish your results

The transpiring  plant experiment
Soil Food Society
Click on the materials and method page and the picture of the bag on the leaf for information that explains the experiment.
Record what you do. You will need to show others what you did and what happened.
Materials and method.
Transpiration bag around a leaf that has collected a small amount of water

Use your findings from the experiment you have done to answer the questions and complete your scientific investigation.

  • How do plants use water? 
  • What does it mean if plants are using water?
  • How can you show that plants are using water?
​You should write down the answers to these questions​ and talk about them with your teacher before you publish  them.
If you have done a different experiment you will have to change the questions to suit the investigation.
You can choose any experiment you want that provides evidence that soil is a living system.
A Kakapo. A New Zealand green flightless parrot
Soil Food Society

Are you ready to tell the world?

Think about how you can show others your findings from the experiment.
How will you make your findings available so other people can watch, hear or read about them? 
It is important to think about what you want to say as well as the way you will share your findings.

Some students make posters with information about their findings.

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