Plants: The Key to Life

Information for Teachers

Curriculum links

This investigation is linked to the following Grade 3 Next Generation Science Standards.

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die. (secondary to 3-LS4-4)

LS4.C: Adaptation

For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. (3-LS4-3)


How to search the internet

1 Keep your request short

Fewer words will give a more accurate search.

2 Choose exactly what you want

For example: Arctic Circle Climate

3 Use quotes

Double quotes around a set of words tell the search engine to consider those exact words in that exact order without any change. For example: “Arctic Circle Climate”

4 Use the plus sign (+)

If you add a plus sign (+) between words, the internet will search for all the words. For example: migrate+birds+whales+mammal

5 Use the minus sign (–) to say what you don’t want

Use a minus sign (–) to show words you do not want to appear in your results. For example: if you search for burrowing animals and do not want mammals in your search,  –mammals will exclude mammals. Note that you need to put a space before the minus sign for the word to be excluded.

6 Be very clear about what you don’t want

Part 1
Ask questions and define problems

After reading Plants: The Key to Life, you may have many questions about plants, and why they are so important for people, animals, and our planet.

List your questions

  • Compare your list with questions that others have.
  • Choose a question you would like to investigate.
  • You can work alone, with a partner, or in a small group.

You may want to choose one or more of these questions to investigate

Q1. What types of plants grow in different habitats?

Q2. What types of plants are most important to people, and to animals?

Q3. How do plants keep the environment healthy?

Q4. Why should we protect forests? What other habitats should we protect?

Go to Part 2 Investigate →

Part 2

Helpful websites

You may want to use websites to help with your investigations.
You may want to learn more about one type of habitat, e.g. rainforests. You can do a search using the name of the habitat:
Type of habitat (e.g. rainforest)+plants+food chain
Type of habitat (e.g. rainforest)+plants+uses
Type of habitat (e.g. rainforest)+plants+threats
Type of habitat (e.g. rainforest)+plants+conservation

Go to Part 3 Record data →

Part 3
Record data

Find a way of recording your information that will allow you to see any patterns in the data.

Data Chart for the importance of plants in different habitats
(Download and change to suit your information)

Download Chart
Go to Part 4 Organize, analyze, and interpret data →

Part 4
Organize, analyze, and interpret data

1. Look over the information you have gathered and the patterns you have found.

Are there things that each habitat has in common?

How are the types of plants in each habitat different?

How do the plants in each habitat help people?

2. Search for other patterns.

Why are some of these habitats in danger?

What can people do to protect important plant habitats?

3. Makes notes about what you find.

Go to Part 5 Present and share →

Part 5
Present and share

Look over all of the information that you have gathered in your investigation.

What are the most important ideas about plants?

Make a chart showing the most important ideas about plants in different habitats.

Download Chart
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