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Understanding Plants, Fungi, and Bacteria Primary 3 Science

Updated: Jul 11

Understanding Plants, Fungi, and Bacteria Primary 3 Science

Understanding the complexities of plants, fungi, and bacteria can be challenging for primary 3 science students. Each of these organisms possesses unique characteristics, making it essential to distinguish between them accurately. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between plants and fungi, the key characteristics of bacteria, and provide tips for tackling questions related to these topics.


1. Similarities and Differences Between Plants and Fungi


Similarities Between Plants and Fungi


Plants and fungi share several characteristics, making them appear similar at first glance. Here are the main similarities:

  • Both are fixed to one position and do not move.

  • Both are slow to respond to changes in their environment.

  • Non-flowering plants and fungi reproduce by spores.


Similarities and Differences Between Plants and Fungi

Differences Between Plants and Fungi


Despite their similarities, plants and fungi have distinct differences. The table below summarises these differences:

Differences Between Plants and Fungi

Plants produce their food through photosynthesis, utilising chlorophyll and sunlight. In contrast, fungi rely on external sources of organic matter, breaking down dead or living organisms to absorb nutrients.


2. Key Characteristics of Bacteria


What Are Bacteria?

Bacteria are microorganisms, which are tiny living things invisible to the naked eye. To observe them, a microscope is required. Examples of microorganisms include bacteria, amoeba, alga, paramecium, and yeast.


Types of Bacteria


Bacteria can be either useful or harmful:

  • Useful bacteria help break down food in the intestines, keeping us healthy, and are used to make foods like yoghurt and cheese.

  • Harmful bacteria can cause bacterial infections such as food poisoning, sore throats, and the flu when they enter our bodies through air, food, or contact.


Key Characteristics


  • Single-celled organisms

  • Contain genetic material but lack a defined nucleus

  • Can live in diverse environments, including soil, water, and the human body


Key Characteristics of Bacteria

3. Tackling Questions on Plants, Fungi, and Bacteria


Tackling Questions on Plants, Fungi, and Bacteria

  • Based on the characteristics outlined in the flowchart, we can determine the type of each organism (A, B, C, D, E).

  • Organism A can produce its own food, indicating it contains chlorophyll, and is therefore a plant. Since it reproduces by spores, it is classified as a non-flowering plant.

  • Organism B also produces its own food, making it a plant. Unlike Organism A, it does not reproduce by spores but by seeds, classifying it as a flowering plant.

  • Organism C does not produce its own food, meaning it is not a plant. It is microscopic, indicating it is a microorganism.

  • Organism D does not produce its own food, so it is not a plant. It is visible without a microscope, so it is not a microorganism. Since it can move, it is not a fungus. Thus, Organism D is an animal.

  • Finally, Organism E does not produce its own food, excluding it from being a plant. It is visible without a microscope, ruling out it being a microorganism. As it cannot move, it is identified as a fungus.

  • By following the flowchart's characteristics, we have accurately identified each organism. Now, let's address the questions.

  • For part (a), students should list all the characteristics of Organism E using the flowchart.

  • For part (b), knowing that Organism C is a microorganism indicates it is a bacterium.

  • For part (c), since Organism D is an animal, any example such as a cat or dog is acceptable.

  • For part (d), the flowchart reveals that the difference between Organisms A and B is that Organism A reproduces by spores, whereas Organism B reproduces by seeds.

we need to compare three types of organisms: fungi, ferns, and mosses

In this question, we need to compare three types of organisms: fungi, ferns, and mosses. Remember that ferns and mosses are non-flowering plants.


  • Statement A is correct because fungi, ferns, and mosses all reproduce through spores.

  • Statement B is incorrect since only ferns and mosses are categorised as non-flowering plants.

  • Statement C is accurate because only non-flowering plants, such as ferns and mosses, contain chlorophyll and thus need sunlight to produce food. Fungi lack chlorophyll and cannot produce their own food using sunlight.

  • Statement D is incorrect because fungi, ferns, and mosses are all stationary and cannot move from place to place.


we are given four organisms: yeast, mould, bacteria, and moss

In this question, we are given four organisms: yeast, mould, bacteria, and moss, and we need to identify which organism fits the descriptions in statements A, B, and C.


  • Only bacteria matches statement A, as it is the only organism among the four that can be found in cheese.

  • Either yeast or bacteria fits statement B, as mould and moss are visible to the naked eye.

  • Either mould or bacteria fit statement C, as both can cause illness.

  • From this information, we can conclude that only bacteria fits all three statements. Therefore, the organism being referred to is bacteria.


only bacteria fits all three statements

Importance of Understanding Plants, Fungi, and Bacteria


Understanding the differences and similarities between plants, fungi, and bacteria is crucial for primary science students. It helps students grasp how these organisms interact with the environment and the human body. For instance, recognising how bacteria can both aid digestion and cause bacterial infections is essential for understanding human health and the immune system.


Practical Applications in Primary Science


Encouraging students to apply this knowledge practically:

  • Experimenting with microscopes to observe bacteria and fungi

  • Classifying plants and fungi based on their characteristics

  • Understanding the role of bacteria in everyday life, such as in food production and health


By grasping the unique characteristics of plants, fungi, and bacteria, students can confidently tackle related questions in their Primary 3 science curriculum. This foundational knowledge not only enhances their understanding of the natural world but also equips them with critical thinking skills applicable in various scientific contexts.


Importance of Understanding Plants, Fungi, and Bacteria

AGrader's Primary Science Tuition Programme offers unique benefits beyond regular weekly lessons based on the latest MOE syllabus. Each weekly lesson is carefully curated and meticulously planned to align with the current MOE syllabus, ensuring relevance and effective learning. Lessons are taught in advance of the school curriculum and are supplemented with high-quality, in-house curated weekly worksheets.


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Enrol your child in AGrader Learning Centre today and give them the advantage they need to excel in their Primary Science studies. Discover the difference with our comprehensive and supportive learning environment. Sign up now and watch your child thrive!



Practical Applications in Primary Science

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