We Are Plankton

What’s the smallest thing you can think of?

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Identity and diversity Sustainability and our future Wellbeing and resilience


Lesson plan Audio


60 minutes

Are small lifeforms as important to our world as large ones? Is an elephant any more or less important than an ant?

This interdisciplinary resource brings together creative writing, literature and science to explore the magic and importance of plankton through a new poem by poet Jen Hadfield, along with related photographs and music.

Use these resources to discuss how tiny organisms can live, thrive and connect to everything around us. You could also use Jen’s poem, which includes words in the Shetlandic dialect (a glossary is provided on the six-page learning resource), to explore the difference between words and expressions in different languages – and encourage pupils to write their own poem.

Lesson plan

Curriculum links

English: Writing & Reading Composition
Science: Working Scientifically, Living Things & Their Habitats (Y4–6), Interactions & Interdependencies (KS3)
Key Stages: KS2, KS3, KS4

Northern Ireland:
Language & Literacy: Writing & Reading
Science & Technology: Organisms & Health
The World Around Us: Interdependence
Key Stages: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4

Languages: Literacy & English – Writing & Reading
Science: Planet Earth
Levels: First Level, Second Level, Third/Fourth Level, Senior Phase

Languages, Literacy & Communication: Literature
Science & Technology: Being Curious, The World Around Us
Progression Steps: PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5