Keeping this rather splendid chart in mind…..
I wonder, how many different living things can you think of?
Can you write the names of (and maybe draw) some of the living things you know?
As you can see, we know an awful lot of living things. We know caterpillars and snails and bears and turtles. Not to mention geese and giraffes and people and pigs.
But what has Tanisha drawn? A FLOWER????? What’s a flower doing there? Surely a flower is not a living thing (or at least that is what you might have thought had you heard the reaction once it was spotted!)
Tanisha. Can you tell us why you drew a flower on your list of living things?
‘A flower is nature,’ she tells us. ‘And nature is living things.’
Shall we take a look again at that splendid chart?
Whilst keeping flowers (which are plants) in mind?
Yes, plants grow. Especially at this time of year! Our grass is suddenly almost knee-high and the school garden (of which more later) is full of tulips.
Which I am sure weren’t there last time I looked!
And yes, even they don’t actually eat, plants, like us, have to get the energy they need to grow bigger from food. It’s just that they don’t actually use a knife and fork to do it! Plants make their own food from sunlight. (Well, kind of!)
And even though plants don’t breathe in and out like we do, they do ‘respire’. It’s a bit complicated so you’ll just have to trust me on this.
What about having babies? Do plants have babies?
Well yes they do, but they (most plants at least) do this by having seeds which can grow into new plants.
And plants move too - though no, Nicholas, I don’t just mean they move when the wind blows. Plants can actually move on their own! Not in a walking-about kind of way. But take for example, the sunflower.
And think about what the name is in French.
Sol as in?
Yes, soleil. Sun.
What about ‘tourne’?
It means turn. So a sunflower ‘turns’ in the ‘sun’. And next time you pass a field of ‘tournesol’ in the morning, look carefully and note which direction they are facing. And when you come home again at night, look again.
And take for another example, the daisy. At night a daisy closes up tightly…..
so that none of the yellow centre is visible. But when the sun comes out, the daisy gradually opens up its petals…..
until, when it is finally bright and sunny, those pretty pink tips cannot be seen at all.
So was Tanisha, after all, right to draw a flower on her list of living things?
Answer? A resounding YES.