Plant or animal? (5-7 Years)

All food comes from plants or animals.

Plant or animal?

Activity 1 - All food comes from plants or animals

Use the Where does food come from? presentation to introduce the subject of where food comes from. Explain to the children that all food comes from a plant or an animal.

Draw two columns on the board (or on a large sheet of paper) and head them, Plants and Animals

Place the Food photo cards into a small bag. Take a card from the bag and ask the children whether it comes from a plant or an animal. Start with some simple examples, such as fruit and fish. 

Briefly discuss the food, for example:

  • Who has eaten this before?
  • What does it taste like? 

Choose one child at a time to take a card, name the food and attach it to the correct column. Discuss their decisions. Continue until all the cards have been used. 

Ask the children if they can add further food to either of the columns.

Show children the Where does food come from? video. This video shows children trying to guess whether food is from a plant or animal source. You could arrange a similar activity with your class.


Activity 2 - Sort food into plant or animal sources

Recap that all food comes from a plant or an animal. Ask children for a few examples of food from a plant and food from an animal.

Give the children a copy of the Plant and animal pictures and the Plant or Animal? worksheet.

Explain to the children that they will be cutting out the pictures of food and sticking them to the correct columns on the Plant or animal? worksheet.  Check that the children know what the foods are before they begin.

Do an example of the cutting and sticking with the class.  Allow the children to complete the rest of the work by themselves or in pairs.

When they finish, the children can write or draw additional food in the columns.


Activity 3 - Give examples of food from plant sources

Ask a few children to describe a meal they have eaten recently.  Draw and label the meal on the board.   Ask the children to identify which parts of the meal come from plants.  Repeat this a couple of times to help children understand that all the food they eat can be traced back to a source.

Show the Plants video. Question the children afterwards to see if they can remember which foods they saw and how they were growing.

Show the Plants presentation and talk about what the foods look like when they are growing.

Look at a plant and ask the children to name the main parts, e.g. leaf, flower, stem and root.

Explain that we eat different parts of plants.  Make it clear to the children that we do not eat all plants.  Some plants are poisonous.

Hold up several foods which come from plants or use the Where food comes from cards and ask children to name them and say which part of the plant it is, e.g. broccoli (flower), apple (fruit), cabbage (leaves), asparagus (stem), carrots (root). 

Explain that potatoes are tubers.  Tubers grow off the roots of potato plants. For further activities around potatoes, go to the Food commodities area.

For cereals, explain that the part of the plant that gives us the grain is called the 'seed head'. For this aged children, it might be easier to say that this is the fruit of the plant - the grain that we eat, e.g. wheat or maize (sweetcorn).
Hand out the Eating plants worksheet and talk through how to complete it with the children.  You may like to list some possibilities before the children begin.  They can use ideas from the presentation and video to help.


Activity 4 - Give examples of food from animal sources

Take the Food photo cards from the previous lesson and display those which show foods from animals.  Question the children about each one:

What is it?

  • Does it come from a plant or animal?
  • Which animal does it come from?
  • Have you eaten this food?
  • Do you like it?

Use the Animals presentation to look in more detail at food from animal sources. Farmers who rear animals for food need to ensure that the animal is healthy, fed, watered and properly cared for.   

Use laminated and cut up sets of the Matching cards. The children can then match different foods to their animal sources.  Alternatively, these can be left unlaminated and the children can cut out, match and glue a selection of these pictures into their work books.


Further activities

  • Challenge children to link food to the Eatwell Guide food groups. Use The Eatwell Guide food groups worksheet to support.
  • Get your school involved in Grow Your Own Potatoes. It is an initiative about growing potatoes at school, then learning about how they fit into a healthy diet, as well as how to prepare and cook them. For further details, click here.
Where food comes from cards

A set of cards exploring where food comes from.

Food photo cards

A set of food photo cards.

5 - 7 YR
Plant and animal pictures

A worksheet with a selection of food from both plant and animal sources.

5 - 7 YR
Plant or animal? worksheet

A worksheet for sorting food into its plant or animal origin.

5 - 7 YR
Plants presentation

A presentation exploring what plants look like when they are growing.

5 - 7 YR
Eating plants worksheet

A worksheet to record the parts of plants eaten as food.

5 - 7 YR
Eatwell Guide - plant or animal? worksheet

A worksheet for recording whether food in the Eatwell Guide comes from a plant or animal.

5 - 7 YR
Animals presentation

A presentation about animals and the foods that come from them.

5 - 7 YR
Matching cards

Cards for children to match different foods to their animal sources.

Reviewed 3.5.23

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