A short discussion topic suitable for year 3 and all of KS2 linking with the topic plants. This close-up picture, taken with a super-powerful microscope, is of Emiliania huxleyi, a species of plankton that drifts around the world’s oceans. It gets its energy from sunlight using photosynthesis, just like plants. It is covered with discs of calcite called coccoliths, which fall off and accumulate on the sea floor. Over millions of years these can become thick layers of chalk.

This ten-minute activity, linking to speaking and listening, is ideal for use at the beginning of the day or during transition times, such as after lunch. Pupils will be challenged to guess what the image is by answering the questions shown on the first slide of the PowerPoint. This could be done on the whiteboard or through discussion with a partner. Once pupils have finished, click through to the next slide to reveal the answers. This discussion topic is also suitable for year 3, year 4, year 5, P3, P4, P5, P6 and P7.

Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6

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