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Natural sciences

Grade 8


Module 28

Plant adaptations

Like animals, plants have also made adaptations to survive under particular climatic conditions.

As water is of utmost importance for the survival of plants, their adaptations are related to the availability of water. Plants can be divided into three groups with regard to this type of adaptation.

  • XEROPHYTES – minimal availability of water
  • MESOPHYTES – moderate availability of water – as with most plants growing on land
  • HYDROPHYTES – maximal availability of water

Activity: to classify plants

Study the following sketches and classify the plants according to their structures as hydro-, meso- or xerophytes. Attempt to provide at least one reason for your classification in each instance.

Activity: to explain the way in which some plants adapt


Roots Poorly developed, only for anchoring

Leaves Large surface

Floating Cuticle (waxy layer) on surface

Air pockets in leaf

Stomata (small openings) on top


Very little strengthening tissue

Slimy layer

Rhizome (stores food)



Shallow root system

Corky layer


Few stomata, mainly on underside

Small or converted to thorns

Stems Thick and fleshy

Waxy layer

Could you supply correct explanations for each adaptation?

Assessment of assignment: [LO 2.4]

Assignment: story

The San most probably were the first people to live in Southern Africa and we still think of their ability to survive such dry conditions with astonishment. Water was a very limited resource.

But we do not have to go very far to discover some of the solutions that the San found centuries ago in nature and in plants (xerophytes), in particular.

Read about the natural vegetation of the desert-like parts of our country.

Write a story about the survival of a plant in the Kalahari Desert. Write this from the point of view of the plant. Let the plant do the talking to describe the conditions and how it manages to survive, and how it helps other plants, the San and animals to survive (its role in the food chain). Refer to the San people and how they used plants to survive.

Assessment of assignment:

Could you write a factually correct story about san culture and the kalahari ecosystem? [lo 3.1]

Class activity: adaptations in xerophytes

Examine the sketches of these unusual xerophytes – which adaptations do they exhibit?





Match the items in the following columns by writing the letters from COLUMN C in the appropriate spaces in COLUMN B. More than one match is possible.

[LO 2.4]

Activity: to conduct a research project

Most xerophytes are used as medicine and for a variety of other purposes in different cultures. Even primitive cultural groups practised science thousands of years ago by determining the value of plants and finding ways to use them.

Do research on the Internet, in books and in libraries.

Write a research report, using the following headings:

  • Planning of the investigation (which has to include research through the Internet and books and through conversations with homeopaths and sangomas or inyangas, as well as one or two older people).
  • Information gathered:

Examples of the use of plants by cultural groups in South Africa.

Discussion of three specific plants, including the aloe ( Aloe verox) (characteristics of the plants and medicinal, economic or other value).

  • Summary (summary of findings)
  • List of references: books, web addresses, and persons.


[LO 1.1; LO 1.2; LO 1.3]


Learning outcomes 1: Scientific investigations

The learner will be able to act confidently on curiosity about natural phenomena, and to investigate relationships and solve problems in scientific, technological and environmental contexts.

This is evident when the learner

1.1 is able to plan investigations;

1.2 is able to conduct an investigation and collect data;

1.3 is able to evaluate data and communicate findings.

Learning outcomes 2: Constructing Science Knowledge

The learner will know and be able to interpret and apply scientific, technological and environmental knowledge.

This is evident when the learner

2.4 is able to apply knowledge.

Learning outcomes 3: Science, society and the environment

The learner will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationships between science and technology, society and the environment.

This is evident when the learner

3.1 is able to understand science as a human endeavour.



  • www.lithop.supanet.com



  • Do some reading about the natural vegetation of the arid regions of our country.
  • Write a story about the survival of an animal in the Kalahari Desert. Write this from the point of view of the animal and from its situation in the food chain.


ASSIGNMENT: Research project

  • Most xerophytes are used as medicines and in a variety of other applications, by various cultural groups.
  • The aloe ( Aloe ferox), in particular, has a wide range of applications – consult homeopaths, sangomas or an inyanga to find information in this regard.
  • Do research through the internet, books and libraries.
  • Write a research report with the following headings as a guideline:

Growing regions

Special properties of the plant, especially the leaves

Medicinal and economic value of the plant

  • Include a list of all the sources and websites that you consult.

Questions & Answers

how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
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okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
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what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
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a perfect square v²+2v+_
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algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
is it 3×y ?
Joan Reply
J, combine like terms 7x-4y
Bridget Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Natural sciences grade 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 12, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11050/1.1
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