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Box of Delights: Birth of a Flower, The (1910)
In the Classroom

Some suggestions on how to use this title in the classroom and where it fits in to the curriculum.


Year 3: QCA Unit 3B: Helping plants grow well

In this unit, children conduct various experiments to discover what plants need to grow well and why it is important that they do.

In Section 7: Water and plants, children have to compare the effects of different amounts of water on four plants, in Section 9: Plants and light, children have to devise tests to assess the affect of light on plant growth and in Section 10: Plants and warmth the effects of temperature are measured.

Birth of Flower uses time lapse photography to show flowers blooming and this filming technique could be applied to any of the above activities to help record the affects of each test. For more guidance on how use time lapse photography in your science lessons follow the link to KS2 Science: The Birth of a Flower on the previous page, where you will find a lesson plan that can be adapted to measure plant growth and guidance on making a time lapse film.

Curriculum Links

  • NC Science objectives: 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 2g, 2h, 2i
  • QCA Unit 3B: Helping plants grow well - sections 7, 9, 10


Year 4
Primary Framework for Literacy Poetry Unit 1: Creating images, Phase 3: Writing a poem based on a model.

Year 6
Primary Framework for Literacy Poetry Unit 1: The power of imagery, Phase 1: Reading and writing poems that use the imagery of personification.

Both of these units encourage children to study poems that use imagery, with the Year 4 unit focusing on the use of simile and the Year 6 unit on personification. Children study a range of poems that use these and other poetic devices such as adjectives and adverbs, alliteration and onomatopoeia to create vivid images. Showing The Birth of a Flower provides a perfect visual stimulus for children's own poems describing the enthralling and beautiful process of flowers opening up to light.

Show the film to the class and talk about which of the blooming flowers they thought were the most spectacular and why. Choose a couple of flowers to focus on and watch those sequences again, encouraging the children to closely observe the movement, timing, and detail of each flower - the shape of the leaves and petals etc. Depending on the age and ability of the children work together or encourage them to use their own whiteboards to brainstorm adverbs and adjectives that describe the flowers blooming.

If you are working with Year 4 children help them generate ideas for similes by encouraging them to think of things they can compare the flowers to, take their minds for a walk to think about things at home, in their bedroom, in the town, in the countryside, in other countries, in outer space, in books they have read, e.g. wind, computer, thistle, dust, ant, blood in veins etc.

With Year 6 children, you could ask them to work individually or in pairs to choose one flower to focus on. As they watch their chosen sequence, encourage them to think about what their flower would be like if it were a person or an animal, what sort of character would it be, how would it move, what would it do and think etc. Encourage them to select the best ideas and begin to build up a profile of a particular person or animal; remind the children to continually evaluate the images to make sure they fit the original flower and what they want to say about it.

Children can then use their chosen model or planning frame to write their poems. Once completed, they could perform and record their poems to provide a soundtrack to accompany the film.

Curriculum Links

Primary Framework: Literacy

Year 4
9. Creating and shaping texts: Develop and refine ideas in writing using planning and problem-solving strategies. Choose and combine words, images and other features for particular effects.

Year 6
9. Creating and shaping texts: Select words and language drawing on their knowledge of literary features and formal and informal writing.
10. Text structure and organisation: Use varied structures to shape and organise texts coherently.