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Do you know where planet Earth gets its energy from? Our nearest star - the SUN! A very special type of living thing can use energy from the sun to makes its own food - do you know which ones? These living things come in many shapes and sizes; from grass, to bushes to enormous trees - these living things, called plants, make their own food. Plants make their own food by using light energy to react carbon dioxide with water to make sugar (glucose). The plants also make a gas called Oxygen - which is great news for us. You will learn more about photosynthesis (making with light) when you are at secondary school. But hopefully you'll realise how important plants are to all life on Earth.
For the birds in our garden, school and parks, plants are essential for survival. Can you think of the ways that birds need plants to survive?
There's some information here about the plants that you might find your school ground.
In every season birds need plants. In Spring they will nest in trees and bushes. Lots of insects also live in or on trees. Insects are great food for the birds and their chicks. In Summer the trees provide shelter as well as food. In Autumn birds will eat the seeds and fruits of the plants. In the Winter birds will find their food - insects living in the leafy layer of the woodland floor.
Think of an oak tree. How many different creatures might need it to survive?
Mini activity - You could go out into your school grounds and take a photograph from the same spot over the next few weeks to see how plants change at this time of year. How about a "wide shot" or a close up of one particular tree?