Of course, we also looked at the old faithful, plants. I’m sure that all special school classes grow plants every year, but the students I was working with had not been credited with their knowledge on our recording system, so off we went again.
Most of them were able to label a simple plant diagram, but struggled with the concept that trees were also plants, I think because we call the stem of a tree a ‘trunk’ and they look quite different!
The experiment involved planting cress seeds in egg boxes (again, low cost equipment that was readily available). Students worked in small groups to plan their experiment, each member of staff having been told where to guide their group in terms of which of heat, light and water would be missing.
A week later and cress seeds and sprouts were removed from dark cupboards, the tops of lockers (sorry caretaker) and the fridge. Some brief discussion how being in the fridge wasn’t a fair test ensued – cold and dark – but students all were able to see that to grow well plants need all three of the above.