Teachers' pages to support FSC fold out chart - "A guide to fruits and seed dispersal"
This series of activities gives pupils an opportunity to explore different aspects of fruits and seeds and to understand how (and why) they are dispersed.
The activities presented here are suitable for pupils in age range 5 to 11 (e.g. Key Stages 1 and 2, Scottish Primary P1 to P7 or equivalent), but should be adapted to suit the age and ability of the pupils. You will find that information given on the FSC fold out chart may be of interest to any age group . . . even adults!
Suggestions on how to use the FSC fold out chart 'A guide to fruits and seed dispersal'
The FSC fold out chart illustrates plants which it should be possible to find in most parts of the British Isles. Select and find specimens of 2 or 3 examples from each of the dispersal sections on the card. Discuss with the pupils how these plants disperse their fruits and seeds, highlighting the common features of each dispersal mechanism. Some background information is given on the text side of the card. Then, with the pupils, examine a wider range of species and get them to try to decide which dispersal group the plant belongs to.
Fruits and seeds and how they are dispersed . . . some ideas to explore for KS2
Download the worksheet from the link on the right.
Constructing a key to fruit dispersal mechanisms
This activity helps pupils at KS2 to identify the main characteristics of fruits and seeds and to group them according to their dispersal mechanism. They can then use this knowledge to construct a simple key.
First discuss the importance of spreading seeds around and the different mechanisms of seed dispersal. Then consider features which fruits and seeds in each dispersal group might exhibit. The pupils can choose names for each of the dispersal groups - e.g. pepperpots, spinners etc.
Divide the pupils into small groups. Give each group fruits from two different species that have the same seed dispersal mechanism.
Working as a group, the pupils then answer the questions on the worksheet "Fruit fact file" (download worksheet from the link on the right) and they draw the fruits, labelling their most important features.
Next, working as a class, the pupils use the worksheets ("Fruit fact file") compiled by each group to fill in the "Character table" (download table from the link on the right).
Then, with a bit of help from the teacher, this character table can be used to write a simple dichotomous key. You can look at an example of a key devised in this way by pupils from Ursuline Preparatory School, Wimbledon (in October 2001) - see Example of a Key constructed from a character table - download this as a small pdf file. These pupils illustrated the key with their own drawings.
By the end of the activity, this group of pupils had become very familiar with the fruits and seeds and their different dispersal features and they had also grasped the principle of how a key is made and how it works. They were also very proud of their own key!
FSC and SAPS wish to thank the teachers (Mrs L Calvert and Ms R Adams) and pupils from Ursuline Preparatory School, 18 The Downs, Wimbledon SW20 8HR, for permission to include their key on the SAPS website and to share their ideas with you. This key, together with the worksheets that contributed to it, gives a useful example of a possible outcome of this activity.
SAPS wishes to thank Dr Anne Bebbington (formerly of The Field Studies Council, Juniper Hall, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6DA) for providing these materials and agreeing to make them available on the SAPS website.FSC and SAPS wish to thank the teachers (Mrs L Calvert and Ms R Adams) and pupils from Ursuline Preparatory School, 18 The Downs, Wimbledon SW20 8HR, for permission to include their key on the SAPS website and to share their ideas with you. This key, together with the worksheets that contributed to it, gives a useful example of a possible outcome of this activity.