Access keys

Skip to content Accessibility Home News, events and publications Site map Search Privacy policy Help Contact us Terms of use

The plant detective

The plant detective
The plant detective teachers pack and students sheets (PDF 3.45MB)

You may need to download additional plug-ins to open this file.


Plants were the first multicellular organisms to colonise the land, changing the atmosphere of earth and paving the way for animals to move out of the seas.

Land plants have existed for about 450 million years. In order to survive out of the water plants had to develop specialised structures and anatomy to enable them to absorb water, nutrients and energy so that they could grow and reproduce.

Flowering plants first appeared about 180 million years ago. Today, 90% of the plant kingdom are flowering species, while algae, conifers, ferns, horsetails, mosses, liverworts, and their relatives, make up the remaining 10%.

About the resource

This resource accompanies the online Plant Detective animation. Plant detective is an interactive presentation, suitable for Key Stage 2 (7-11 year olds) describing the different parts of a plant and what they do.

The plant detective covers the topics:

  • Reproduction
  • Photosynthesis
  • Adaptation

There are worksheets, to assess learning, as students’ progress through the animation. The resource also features a crossword and word search to help students with their scientific literacy. Students can work through the animation at their own pace on individual computers or using the printable worksheets. Alternatively the animation can be displayed to the whole class with a projector.