Year 6 Science

science owl

This is an activity from the Science section of the What Your Year 6 Child Needs to Know resource book. To learn more about using Core Knowledge UK resource books, please visit the dedicated pages for teachers, parents, grandparents and home educators. Please sign up for the free Core Knowledge UK newsletter to receive updates about new resources and activities.


Many plants you are familiar with, including most trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and garden plants, produce flowers. They can be as large and showy as sunflowers or as tiny as the flowers on a grass plant, but most flowers have essentially the same parts.

Let's look at a diagram of a typical flower to see how seeds are formed. Typically the flower is formed as a series of rings, one inside the other. The outer ring is made up of sepals , which are usually green and look like leaves attached to the stem at the base of the flower. Inside the sepals, the petals make the next ring. The colourful petals attract insects, which are often important for bringing pollen carrying the male gamete to the egg.

Inside the petals, in the centre of the flower, lie the reproductive parts. The stamens are the male reproductive organs. Each stamen has an anther on its tip, where millions of tiny pollen grains, each with a male gamete, are made. At the very centre of most flowers is the pistil , with the female reproductive organs. The pistil is a tube that leads down to the ovary with its egg or eggs.

What is an ovary? In Latin it means a 'place for eggs'. This place for the egg or eggs is completely protected, which is one of the great advantages of a flower. Sometimes, when there is just one egg, the ovary is called an ovule, which means 'small ovary'. For instance, when there is just one seed inside a fruit, you know it came from a single ovule. When there are several eggs, then there will be several ovules inside a larger ovary. And later when that ovary develops into a fruit, there will be several seeds inside, as in a tomato, orange, or apple.

This activity is adapted from pages 308-309 of What Your Year 6 Child Needs to Know, which will soon be available from our shop, here.