Structure of plants and animals

  • Are plants all made in the same way with the same parts?
  • If I cannot see leaves on a cactus, is it still a plant?
  • Is the moss that grows near an outside tap a plant? How can I tell if it is?
  • If a cactus, seaweed and a dandelion are all so different, how can you say they are all plants?
  • Animals all look so different - how can we group different animals together?
  • What makes animals different from each other?

We learnt that almost everything can be grouped into two groups - living and non-living. In the next section we are going to learn more about living plants and animals, how they look and what makes them special!

Structure of plants

Basic structures of plants

Introducing this topic

  • Learners need to identify different basic structures (parts) in plants.
  • They need to explore VISIBLE differences between different plants.
  • They can incidentally be introduced to the concept that plants make their own food; they don't eat other plants, but animals eat the food plants make which is stored in different parts of plants.
  • At the start of this section it is suggested that you display propagation through cutting to compare to seedling propagation in a later activity. You can use a cut stem from a fig or rose plant.
  • As an extension, they may be introduced to the function of different structures.
  • In this series of textbooks, we will also place emphasis on the scientific method used to make and label drawings.

This section therefore starts with a study of plants and the different plant structures. Although CAPS does not directly require that the function of plant structures be studied, it is included to enrich the subsequent visual differentiation activities. Learners need to observe differences and find out more about the different types of plants in their environment. The differences can be the size of plants, the colour and form of the leaves and flowers, whether they have flowers or not, whether they lose their leaves or not - and many similar visible differences. We encourage teachers to ignite learners' curiosity and interest to find out how the natural world works. As young scientists, they need to compare plants or animals and group them together.

Presentation hints

  1. Always try to link learners' prior knowledge to what they are going to learn before you formally present the lesson.
  2. Bring a plant or a clear poster showing the basic structures of flowering plants to the class.
  3. Ask learners to identify different parts of the plant. Encourage them to think of the possible function(s) of each part. Many learners have the correct concepts but lack the linguistic proficiency to express their thoughts. Teachers are encouraged to help learners with language-related problems by providing a vocabulary rich environment and to display key words in a prominent place while constantly referring to these words. This supports learners to learn new scientific vocabulary and use it to explain themselves.
  4. Use questions to guide the class discussion regarding the basic structures of flowering plants. Why do plants need water? Which part of the plant can take up water? Give another word for "take up"(absorb). Which part of the plant connects the roots to the rest of the plant etc.
  5. Explain new words clearly and carefully and make sure these words (and possibly their meanings) are displayed in a prominent place in the class.
  6. Encourage learners to set up their own glossary with explanations of the meanings.

All plants have different parts that we call structures. In most plants you can identify the following structures:

  • roots
  • stems
  • leaves
  • flowers

Let's take a look at the different plant structures.


Plant roots are normally found underground. Roots have very important functions (jobs):

  • roots anchor the plant in the ground
  • roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil, which are then transported to the rest of the plant
  • some plants store the food they make in their roots, like potatoes or carrots. In Grade 5 you will see how plants make their own food!
The roots of this tree go deep down into the soil.
A carrot is a stem that stores food made by the plant.


Stems connect the roots to the rest of the plant. The stem has important functions:

  • the stem supports the leaves, flowers and fruit (the stem holds these parts upright)
  • the stem carries nutrients and water from the roots to the other parts of the plant
  • some plants store the food they produce in their stems (like sugar cane or asparagus)
A growing plant stem.
A tomato plant stem.


Although many plants' leaves are green, leaves can have many other colours. Some leaves change colour during autumn.

Leaves have very important functions:

  • leaves absorb sunlight and use it to make food for the plant

This process is known as photosynthesis - learners are however not required to learn such specifics at this stage and will only learn about this in Grade 5.

  • some plants use their leaves to store water (cactus) or food (like spinach or lettuce).

Leaves have small openings (called stomata) underneath that allows the plant to pass out extra water as part of the process of transpiration

  • most leaves have veins which are like tiny pipes that carry water and nutrients from the roots (the veins carry the food the leaf makes to the rest of the plant)
Can you see the veins in these leaves?


Many plants have flowers. The flowers are very important to the plant:

  • the flowers make pollen which is needed to make seeds from which new plants can grow
  • flowers are often brightly coloured to attract birds and insects to spread their pollen and bring pollen from other flowers
  • the flowers make fruit and seeds
  • flowers come in many different shapes and sizes

Think of the flowers you know and write some of their names below.

How many different colour flowers are in your school ground or your garden at home? Do you see any flowers on your way to school? Next time look out for them and notice all the different colours!

Wow, flowers really make our lives more colourful, and I love colour!


Many plants make seeds and store their seeds in different ways:

  • In their fruit, like in peaches or oranges.
  • In pods, like in beans and peas.
  • On a cob, like a mealie or on an ear like wheat.

Other plants grow their seeds from the plant's flower, like a dandelion or the acorns on an oak tree.

Seeds are very important to plants because new plants can grow from seeds.

Dandelion seeds are light so they can blow in the wind to a new place where they can start growing.
The seeds on ears of wheat.
Pea seeds in a pod.
Peach seeds are inside the fruit.

Presentation hints

In the following activity learners will be required to label the drawing. This is the first time that the skill of labelling is being introduced in Grade 4, so it is important that teachers actively teach learners this important skill step by step, waiting for everyone to finish one step correctly before moving onto the next step. Perhaps the following rules could be made into a poster to be displayed and referred to whenever learners are asked to make scientific drawings...

The guidelines for drawing and labelling:

  • The drawing must have a heading (printed in pen).
  • Labeling lines must be in pencil.
  • Labeling lines must be drawn using a ruler.
  • Label lines must be parallel to the top / bottom of the page.
  • Label lines must touch the part of the drawing being labeled.
  • Label lines must end the same distance from the drawing (i.e. the labels must be in a vertical line underneath each other).
  • Labels must be written using print, and not cursive, and in pen.
  • The correct labels must be used in the correct place.

Identifying the different parts of a flowering plant


To see whether you can identify the different parts of a plant.

MATERIALS (what you need):

  • adrawing of a flowering plant.

INSTRUCTIONS (what you must do):

  1. Look at the drawing below. There are no labels added to the drawing. Scientists often need to label drawings and diagrams. This is a very important skill!
  2. When we give labels for a drawing, there are some guidelines to follow:
    1. Draw a straight line with a pencil and ruler from the part that you want to label.
    2. Label lines must touch the part of the drawing being labeled.
    3. The line must be parallel to the bottom of your page.
    4. Write the names for each part neatly underneath each other.
  3. Label the drawing of the flowering plant using these rules.
  4. Write the labels on the left in the space provided.
  5. Use the following labels:
    • root
    • stem
    • leaf
    • flower
    • seed



When doing a scientific drawing, you need to give it a heading so that someone else knows exactly what it is. Think of a heading for the above drawing and write it below.

Something like: "The basic structures of a flowering plant".

Do you think one part of a plant is more important than another part? Explain your answer.

One part is not more important than another part because all parts are needed for the plant to function as a whole. All parts are equally important and needed for different reasons/roles.

Visible differences between plants

This section on plants provides an opportunity and a necessity to practise agricultural science as a part of Natural Science. For example, while doing this section, encourage your learners to plant different kinds of crops (those that store food in stems, leaves, in roots, etc) and then ask them to bring them to school once they have grown to compare the visible differences and work with them fresh from the soil. If no one can grow their own vegetables, try to set up a vegetable garden at the school in some corner, or just buy some different vegetables from the shops and bring them to class so learners can see the real things and describe the differences. This aspect may not have been highlighted in the curriculum, but it is important for learners to know where food comes from. And also highlight the need for schools to have vegetable gardens!

There are many different kinds of plants. If you look at different plants you can see many things that are different but also things that are the same. We know that most plants have stems, roots and leaves, and that many others have flowers, seeds and fruit. If we want to compare plants, we can compare these plant structures.

You can look at the different structures of plants and compare their:

  • size
  • colour
  • shape

Or you can ask really important questions about the plants, like:

  • Does this plant flower?
  • Does it lose its leaves in autumn?
  • Can animals eat the plant or parts of the plant?
  • Can humans eat the plant?
  • Perhaps you can think of other important questions that you could ask?

People have studied plants for thousands of years. Can you think of reasons why people need to study plants? Think of the reasons why people use plants, and write them down.

People need to find which plants are good to eat and which plants can be used to cure which diseases; some plants are good for making baskets or clothes, while others can be used to construct shelters and homes; plants can also be used to write on (papyrus and trees that make paper) or to make string etc. There are many more uses.

People that study plants, like you are doing, start by looking at the plants and comparing what they see. They later move onto more complicated things to compare. We are going to compare different plants using our eyes as our guides.

Look at the photos of the banana palm and the basil plant. How many differences can you see between these two plants?

A banana palm
A basil plant.

When we compare plants, it is sometimes easier to use the different plant structures to compare the plants. We can look at the stems, for example, in the banana palm and the basil plant and compare them. The basil plant has a thin green stem while the banana palm has a thick brown woody bark covering a it's very thick trunk.

Look at the photograph below of the edge of a river. There are main types of plants growing: the waterlilies in the front and the reeds at the back. Both grow near or in water but they look completely different!

Describe the differences you could list between the banana palm and basil plant.

This question is specifically left open to the learners' interpretation and once everyone in the class has finished, teachers should discuss the differences and similarities the learners saw. It is hoped that some would use the stem, root and leaves to compare the two plants and teachers are encouraged to pick up on this and heap tremendous praise on these learners for thinking like Little Einsteins! This will pave the way towards the next activity.

Waterlilies and reeds growing in water.

Comparing plants


  1. Work with a friend.
  2. Compare the two plants (water lilies and reeds) using the plant structures.
  3. When people compare different things using a set of items (like the plant structures we are using), they often use a table to write down their ideas.
  4. Study the table below. Write differences and similarities between the plant structures of the waterlilies and the reeds.

It is hoped that many of the learners will be familiar with either reeds or water lilies or both and that this will enrich this discussion.

Water lilies



single straight thin stem, some might notice that they are not stiff but can bend with the current as visible in the one in the photo

stems are segmented, tall and woody, some might say the stems are hollow


Cannot comment - not visible

Cannot comment - not visible


round flat leaves (to float on the water)

thin narrow long leaves

Flowers and/or seeds

beautiful flowers

seeds in the top parts to be dispersed by the wind


If you look at a plant and can't see seeds, can you say that that plant falls into the group that does not make seeds? Why not?

NO - Just because you cannot see seeds does not mean the plant does not produce seeds sometime in its lifetime. Some plants only flower once in 10 - 15 years and then only produce seeds at this time. Teachers should emphasise that just because at a specific time a plant does not have flowers or seeds, learners should not assume that the plant does not produce these.

Did you notice that it was slightly easier to compare plants if you know the different plant structures? In the next activity we are going compare the leaves of different plants. You need to collect three leaves from three different plants. It is important that you only bring leaves from plants that you or your parents know because you need to tell the class the name of the plant.

Introducing the next activity

  1. Ask the learners before the next lesson to bring leaf samples of THREE different plants to the class. They need to know the names of the plants.
  2. Tell learners to be respectful of plants and plant owners. If the plant does not belong to them they need to ask permission from its owner to collect a leaf. They also need to be careful not to ruin the plant when they cut the leaf off; use a pair of scissors or cutters.
  3. Learners must also take care of themselves. Some plant are POISONOUS. Safety rules are:
    • Don't eat parts of unknown plants.
    • Don't rub your eyes while handling plants.
    • Wash your hands after handling plants.
  4. Let the learners name edible leaves for example: lettuce, spinach, parsley, cabbage, coriander etc.
  5. As teacher you need to contribute to the activity the learners are going to do by also bringing samples of leaves of different plants to the class to make sure that a variety of examples are available.
  6. Let the learners study the activity. Make sure that they understand how to trace and label the leaves.
  7. Explain key words such as: smooth or serrated edge, large or small, hairy or smooth, thin or thick, etc.
  8. Let the learners work in pairs. Each pair has to complete the table in the activity.
  9. Give the learners enough time to complete the activity. Walk around the class and make sure that all the learners remain on task. Help the learners who are struggling.
  10. Ask the learners for their answers and fill in the table on the board.
  11. Ask the learners to complete the self assessment.

What do leaves of different plants look like?


To see the difference in leaves from various plants.

MATERIALS (what you need):

  1. Many different leaves (your teacher will tell you how many you need to collect)
  2. The names of the plants you collected the leaves from
  3. White paper
  4. Crayons


How to make leaf rubbings:

  1. Take one leaf and put it on a flat hard surface.
  2. Make sure the veins are facing up, that means the leaf must be upside-down.
  3. Place the white paper over the leaf.
  4. Use the crayon on its side to gently colour on the paper over the leaf to trace the leaf.
  5. Label the leaf with the name of the plant it came from.
  6. Repeat this process with all the leaves.
  7. Give your page a heading that describes what you did.
  8. After you have made at least 4 different leaf rubbings, carefully study your different leaves. Describe the differences you noticed in the different leaves you used.

    Learner dependent answer


Work with a friend and put their 4 rubbings with yours.

Can you see if different leaves have similar shapes?
Can you see if different leaves have similar edges?
In the spaces below, draw the different shapes of 3 leaves and the different edges of 3 leaves that you could see.

Different shapes of leaves

Different edges of leaves

Complete the table below.

  1. Fill in the name of the plants in the first column.
  2. Make a tick in the column(s) that describe how the leaf looks.
  3. One has been done using roses from Gogo's garden to show you what to do.
Gogo's beautiful roses

Name of plant

Round leaf

Long, thin leaf

Smooth edge

Serrated edge


Learner dependent answer

Structure of animals

All living things can be divided into two groups - plants and animals. Plants can be compared using the different plant structures to classify them into different groups. We can use a similar method to compare animals. In this section we are going to learn how to identify different animal structures. Then we will use these animal structures to compare some animals you might already know.

Introducing this topic

This unit deals with the basic structure of animals and thus their body plans. CAPS does not differentiate between vertebrate or invertebrate, between warm-blooded or cold-blooded or any other groupings. It requires that learners compare animals based on the basic structure of animals: head, tail, body and limbs. Comparisons are based on these structural elements as well as size, shape, body covering and sense organs. Teachers are cautioned to stick to these specifications but encouraged to extend able learners by introducing such concepts as vertebrate and invertebrate, warm and cold blooded, etc.

Presentation hints

  1. Introduce this unit with a class discussion. Ask the learners to think of different animals. They can whisper their animal's name in your ear before miming the animal to the class to guess which animal they are.
  2. Discuss the concept that humans are also animals. It is important to address language barriers and misconceptions at this point. If their mom for instance says that the big sister lives in a pig sty or that the big brother eats like a dog then this is a different way to use language. This point is perhaps an absurd example but it is important to be on the look-out for similar misconceptions where colloquial (or everyday) and scientific language use leads to misunderstanding of scientific principles.
  3. Presentation: Revise the concept basic structure (how it is built up). Let learners name the basic structure of plants. Study the basic body structure of different animals. Use the 5 basic body structures as guidelines. (Many teachers choose to use the word body plan to describe the structure of the bodies of animals however this is not strictly in keeping with terminology used in the CAPS.)

Comparing Animals


  1. Carefully study the photo of the dog and the jellyfish. What differences and similarities can you see?
  2. Write the differences and similarities in this table.
  3. Discuss your list of similarities and differences with your classmates and see how your lists are the same or different. Maybe you have some extra things to add to your list after your discussions with your classmates.



Learner-generated answers. This activity is purposefully left wide open to allow learners to think 'out of the box'. It will give teachers a good indication of the level of prior-knowledge of animals and animal structures that exists in among the learners.

It is not explicitly stated but learners are expected to use the 5 basic body structures to compare the dog and jellyfish. Teachers are encouraged to walk around the class and check as learners work at this activity how they compare these two animals. Point those who do not realise that they can use the body structures to compare in the right direction.

A Jack Russell standing and a Golden Retriever lying down.
Jellyfish in the sea

Some learners might have used the body structures of animals to compare the jellyfish and the dog. Others might have included different things - like whether the animal has a skeleton or not or perhaps where it lives or what covers its body. Encourage learners to exchange ideas and discuss their reasons for their answers either in small groups or as a class.

Presentation hints

Revise the concept basic structure. Let them discuss what they thing the basic structures of animals are - refer back to the jellyfish and the dog above. Discuss the body of different animals starting with themselves and then use the jellyfish and the dog as examples. Perhaps add other types of animals to reinforce the point that different animals' bodies are covered in different ways.

Basic structures in animals

Let's take a closer look at the body parts of animals.

Just like plants, animals also have a basic structure. The basic structure of an animal is:

  • head
  • tail
  • body
  • limbs
  • sense organs


Most animals have a part of their body that we call the 'head'. Even the smallest animal has a part where it's 'brain' is. In most animals the head has:

  • abrain (or brain-like structure) - no matter how small
  • sensory organs (like the eyes and ears)
  • feeding structures (like the mouth and jaws)


Most animals have a tail at the back end of their body (have you ever wondered where a starfish or octopus' tail is?) A tail is often pointed but can have many other shapes as well.

The tails!


  1. Work in groups of 3 or 4.
  2. Look at the different tails of all the animals in the illustration - can you find similarities between the tails?
  3. Discuss possible similarities between the different types of tails with your group and then write your answers below. Use some different words to describe some of the tails.

    Dependent on how observant the group is. Some tails are long, some are short, some are bushy and covered in fur, others are covered in scales, some are very colourful and others are just one colour.

  4. Tails do different jobs for different animals. What does the whale in the picture use its tail for?

    To swim.

  5. Both the chameleon and the squirrel have tails and live mostly in trees and bushes. But their movements are very different! A chameleon moves slowly while a squirrel jumps from branch to branch and climbs up and down the tree trunks. What do each of these animals use their tails for?

    The chameleon uses its tail to cling onto branches and balance. The squirrel mostly uses its tail for balance and to be agile when jumping from branch to branch.

  6. The male peacock has a very brightly coloured tail. Why do you think this is so?

    He attracts a mate with his tail by lifting it up and displaying it.

Let's look at some more functions of tails. Tails help an animal to:

  • move and swing in trees - monkeys for example.
  • balance - kangaroos use their tails to balance while they jump for example.
  • kill their prey - crocodiles use their tails to spin them around and around when they need to drown their prey; scorpions often have poison in their tails.
  • pat down the earth - beavers use their powerful tails to pat ground down hard and solid.
  • swim - almost all fish use their tails to let them swim.
  • steer their movement - fish, whales, dolphin, sharks and many others use their tail as a sort of rudder to steer them in a certain direction. Birds' tails are very important rudders too.
  • keep it warm - a little squirrel or fox wraps its tail around it like a blanket to keep warm!
  • chase away flies - a cow or horse can swish their tail to get rid of flies.
  • warn others of possible dangers - some deer flash the white underside of their tails to other deer to warn them of possible danger.
  • communicate - dogs show their emotion in their tails. If they are happy to see you they wag their tails. A burglar is not always met with the same wagging tail!
  • protect - an armadillo has an armoured tail to protect itself. They can roll up into the ball, with their tail protecting them.
  • distract predators - if a lizard is attacked it will drop its tail and get away while the predator goes after the wriggling tail.

As you probably realised, animals' tails are very important to them!


Presentation Suggestion:

Collect soft toy of animals with as realistic body coverings as possible - a teddy, a feathery bird, a rough skinned crocodile, perhaps a tortoise, a whale, etc. Divide the animals in three groups and place them in thick black plastic bags that learners cannot see through. Choose volunteers to 'feel' what is inside the bag. They need to discuss what they felt the class.

Different animals need to cover their bodies in different ways.

Can you think of at least five different kinds of body coverings that animals use? Write them down below.

Just like people, animals use specific body coverings for special reasons. Let's think about reasons why people cover their bodies then we'll see how this compares to animals.

Why do we cover our bodies?


  1. Think of times when someone will wear these types of clothes.
  2. Write your answers in the right hand column next to the clothes.


Where or when would people wear it?

Thick jacket, scarf and gloves

Winter or areas where it is very cold.

Bright thin dress with thin straps over the shoulders

Summer beach weather or going to a pool party.

Ablack suit with black pants and bow tie

Going to a ball or perhaps a wedding or a very formal dinner.

Grey skirt and white short sleeve blouse, black shoes and white socks

School clothes for summer for many South African learners.


Going for a swim at the beach, pool or dam

People wear different kinds of clothes in different environments. If they are cold people will wear warm clothes, and if they are hot most people will wear fewer and thinner clothes.

Animals also have different body coverings - which most cannot change when the weather changes. Why do you think a bird is covered in feathers and not scales? Or why does a whale have a smooth thick skin but an octopus has a slimy slippery skin? Why is it that a cat has a soft furry skin but a crocodile's body is covered in hard bone-like scales?

Discuss this in groups of three or four and write your ideas in this space.

Animals need to cover their bodies in special ways for a few reasons:

  1. Body coverings need to protect the animal's organs, bones and muscles from their environment, harsh sunlight, bumps and scratches, and from germs and bacteria that might cause infection. A warm, furry body protects a polar bear in the Arctic just like a scaly body protects an armadillo and crocodile.
  2. Animals need to blend into their environment either to hide from predators or camouflage themselves to stop prey from seeing them (for example lions).
  3. Males often use their body covering to attract female attention. A peacock boasting with his beautiful tail feathers or a lion with his mane is meant to attract females.

Animal Body Coverings


  1. Carefully look at the the body covering of each animal in the photographs below..
  2. Then think about where the animal lives.
  3. Answer these questions by filling them in on the table below:
    • What does each animal's body covering do for it?
    • Where does this animal live?


Body Covering

Where does it live?











Body Covering

Where does it live?


shell and strong leathery body

gardens, jungles, forests - lots of vegetation.





hard, bony scales

grasslands, deserts



trees, jungle, forest


soft, moist skin



leathery water-proof skin

cold, fresh water


thick warm water-proof feathers

in the sea, in cold areas


soft, slippery skin

under the sea


thick, hairy skin

shoreline / near the ocean and in sea


Most animals use their limbs to move. Animals can walk, run, climb or swim using their limbs. Some animals like chimps and squirrels can use their front or upper limbs to handle objects.

Look at the pictures of the different animals in the previous activity. How many different limbs can you see on these animals?

Animals can have wings, webbed feet, tentacles, fins, legs, arms, flippers and long slithery bodies.

Miming Animals' Movement: Write animal names on paper and put them in a container. Divide the class into two group that will compete with each other. Let learners pull a name from the container. They need to mime an animal's movement for their team to guess what it is. The winning team will have guessed the most animals at the end of the period.


Some animals have senses that are much better developed than those of humans. Dogs for example can sense things and help humans with this.

  • Sniffer dogs help to find people who are trapped under building rubble, mudslides or snow and tell the rescue workers where the victims are. These dogs also smell drugs or bombs and alert the police.
Sniffer dogs at the airport.
  • Eagles, buzzards, hawks and other birds of prey have extremely sharp eyes as they have to see small rodents from very far away.
  • Elephants, cats and dogs can hear sounds that human ears cannot hear.
  • Bats, dolphins and some whales use a special sense called echolocation. They send out special sound waves and can find prey or objects that they might bump into from quite far away.
  • Butterflies, bees and earthworms have another special sense called chemoreceptors - they taste through their skin or feet.
  • Animals such as ants, cockroaches or crayfish have special sense receptors that can sense something moving from miles and miles away!

Think back to the seven life processes and why we can say that an animal is alive. Look at the basic structure of an animal, at their head, limbs, body, tail and and senses. How does the basic structure of animals help them carry out the seven life processes?

Moving - limbs and tail

Reproducing - body

Sensing - sense organs

Breathing - body

Feeding - limbs (catch food, hold food, break it open), head and sense organs

Excreting - body

Growth - body, limbs, tail, head, etc.

The relationship between the structure of an animal and the seven life processes may not always be clear with some animals, but with most animals it is. For the above question, encourage learners to think of an easy animal such as a dog.

Body plans of animals


When you were learning about plants, you also learnt how to label a drawing in a scientific way. In this activity you are going to practice your labelling skills.


  1. Study each of these drawings of different animals.
  2. Use your scientific labelling skills to label each animal using the five body structures of animals.

Animals all look very different. Some have long legs and others have short stubby claws, some have big eyes and other have thousands of tiny eyes together in one big eye. They come in all shapes and sizes!

Have a look at the page that introduces Life and Living at the beginning of the term. You can see the Thunderbolt kids exploring the jungle. Can you see all the different shapes and sizes of the animals!? How many different animals can you spot?

Small, medium, large or extra large?!

Do you sometimes go shopping with your family? Have you seen that shops use the words, SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE and EXTRA-LARGE when they compare things like pizzas, eggs or clothes for example? Sometimes people just write S, M, L and XL to show the size.


  1. Let's use these letters to compare the basic body parts of the animals we just labelled.
  2. Write S, M, L or XL to describe the size of the different body part of the animals in the first column.




Fore limb

Hind limb






  • All plants have a basic structure of roots, stems and leaves.
  • Flowering plants also have flowers, fruit and seeds.
  • We can see how plants are different. We compare the size, shape and colour of roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds.
  • All animals have a basic structure: head, tail, body, limbs and sense organs.
  • Animals have different body coverings, shapes and sizes and sense organs.
  • We can compare the different things that we see in animals.

  1. Look at the picture below and answer the following questions:

    Describe the difference between the leaves of the fig tree and the willow tree.

    Fig tree has broad, scalloped leaves and the willow has long, narrow leaves.

    Study the flowers. Which flowers would you group together? Use the following headings:

    Many flowers close together

    Single (one) flowers on a long stem

    Many flowers close together

    Single (one) flowers on a long stem





  1. Think of three (3) different plants that you know. They can be vegetables, fruit, flowers or trees - whatever you like. Each plant looks different, right? Write down what you know about each of the different parts of the plant in the table below.

    Plant's name




  1. Carefully study the animals in the picture above and find the following:

    Five (5) examples of different body coverings.

    feathers, fur, scales, hard horny scales, soft moist skin, leathery tough hide

    Three (3) examples of different limbs.

    wings, fins, legs (claws)

    Which animals have soft skins and need to live in or near water to keep their skin moist?

    bullfrog and tree frog

    Which animal in these pictures can drop its tail when it feels in danger?


    Which animal uses its tail when it catches and drowns its prey?


    Name the animal from this group that can use its front limbs to handle or manipulate objects or food?


    One animal in this group specifically has very good hearing. Which one has better hearing than most?


    Think how birds of prey hunt. Which animal in this group needs to have especially good sight to help it hunt?

    gabar goshawk

    Do you think the crocodile has a good body covering? Look at the other body coverings. Would a crocodile be able to survive with the same scaly body covering as a fish? Why does it have the hard horny scales?

    A crocodile often catches large buffaloes or gazelle with sharp horns. If its body is not protected by a hard bony armour these animals' hooves or horns could damage the body of the crocodile.