Farm-linked activities for KS2 Science

KS2 Science activities that can be carried out before, during or after a farm visit.


Curriculum area: Living things and their habitats

Activities:

  • Investigation: Which conditions are necessary for seeds to germinate? eg no soil, no light, no water, no heat etc.
  • Observe what happens to a plant when leaves are removed/roots are cut off/when roots become pot bound/when it isn't watered.
  • Plant easy-to-grow seeds in different types of soil and observe results.
  • Cut through a celery stalk and place in inky water. Observe how the plant carries the water through the stem. (Pale carnation flowers will also change colour.)
  • Match seeds to their respective fruit or vegetable.
  • Chart the food chains for different animals.
  • Study the digestive system of the cow and other ruminants.
  • Count numbers of beetles, worms and centipedes in a sample of soil. All are prevalent in healthy soil.
  • Sort different grains to match descriptions and pictures.
  • Establish a vegetable patch in the school garden. Allow children to follow the plants through from preparing the soil for planting to eating the resulting produce.
  • Survey habitats of animals and birds seen on the farm and surrounding area. Distinguish between a created habitat and a natural habitat, e.g. birds nesting in hedges and surrounding trees/hens in a coop.
  • Compare locations and types of plants that have been planted and those naturally present on the farm.
  • Create a compost heap at school. Mix raw vegetable waste, grass clippings and leaves and shredded newspaper. Keep a diary, making observations of the process of decay noting changes in looks, texture, temperature and volume over time. Use magnifying glasses to investigate any organisms that have been attracted to the compost.
  • Make a mushroom spore print. Sit the top of a mushroom on a piece of white card for a few days until it has shed spores and produced a print.

Resources needed:

  • Compost, plant pots, labels
  • Seeds such as whole lentils or mustard Several samples of the same plant
  • Soil from different sources or soil mixed with with peat/sand/compost Celery, ink, carnation flower
  • Different fruit, pips and seeds from equivalent fruit
  • Different grains such as wheat, barley, rice, oats, or a birdseed mixture A sunny, sheltered corner of school grounds
  • Gardening tools Vegetable seeds
  • Corner of school garden Organic waste matter
  • Compost container - a plastic dustbin with ventilation holes in sides and base will help create more heat
  • Mushrooms, white card Bucketful of soil

Curriculum area: Animals including Humans

Activities:

  • Sort food into different categories according to sources e.g. arable/livestock, dairy/poultry, manufactured/natural products, healthy/unhealthy.
  • Identify and categorise different, animals and birds seen on the farm. Use categories such as two legs/four legs, ruminants/others, by leaf shape.
  • Make a dial to show the life cycle of a farm animal or hen. Study the nutrients in an egg. Make a labelled diagram.
  • Investigation: Which is the strongest part of the egg?

Resources needed:

  • Two circles of card, one with a quarter cut out, and a paper fastener Eggs, whole and broken!

Curriculum area: Evolution and Inheritance

Activities:

  • Survey animals on the farm, which have characteristics suited to their environment? Draw a diagram and give a 3-4-minute presentation on how your animal is adapted to their environment.
  • Invite a dairy farmer to speak to your children in school.