Plant Structure and Transport

Simple animations introduce the role of the roots and shoots in flowering plants. Teachers can use these animations to engage students in what can be a difficult topic to visualise and grasp.

Theory behind the hook

Although there are many different types of flowering plants (trees, grasses, cereals, flowers), they all have a similar structure; they are composed of roots and shoots. The roots are located below the ground, while the shoot is composed of the parts of the plant that are above the ground (stem, leaves and flowers).

How this hook works

This hook uses simple animations to introduce the role of the roots and shoots in flowering plants. Each plant is full of water from the tips of the roots to the tips of the leaves. Evaporation of water from the leaves pulls on the column of water all the way through the plant. Roots are compared to straws, as in a sense, they act like a straw through which water is being sucked. The plant is replacing water lost in its leaves to evaporation. An animation shows the pathway of the water from the roots up through the plant and out through the leaves. This animation can also be used to introduce transpiration: loss of water vapour from a plant through the stomata in the leaves. The shoot contains the leaves and the leaves are used to make food. Again a simple animation shows the pathway of food from the leaves to the flowers, stem and roots. This animation can also be used to introduce photosynthesis, the way in which green plants make food.

Questions & Answers

  • Which part of the flowering plant takes in water?
    The roots.
  • From what part of the plant is water mostly lost?
    The leaves.
  • Apart from taking in water, what are the other functions of the roots?
    1: Anchor the plant, 2: take in minerals.
  • Apart from making food, what are the other functions of the leaves?
    1: Exchange gases, 2: allow water to pass out.

Cross Curricular Links

Links can be made to Ecology and Junior Certificate Geography by discussing the flowering plants that are typically found in Ireland.


Students could be asked to survey the flowering plants located on their school grounds and asked to count the different types and provide a numerical breakdown of each type.