You need to login before you download the free activities. To sign up click on join upd8 below.


Pomegranate ovary model

  • Key Stage 3
  • GCSE
  • Popular Activity
  • Topical

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Modelling
Topic: Reproduction

Pomegranates are in the shops, and sales are rocketing. Here students use pomegranates in a novel way – as a scientific model! Students learn that models help us to picture and understand what is not visible. They then evaluate the usefulness of a pomegranate in modelling a human ovary.

Many thanks to Toni Brodie who suggested this activity.

11-16 How Science Works:
Data, evidence, theories and explanations
1c How explanations of many phenomena can be developed using scientific theories, models and ideas.

Published: 4th December 2007
Reviews & Comments: 7

Send to a Friend

Learning objectives

Students will:
• Critically evaluate a model of the human ovary
• Locate and know the functions and structure of the human ovary

Try the activity

You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

11- 14 (KS3)

From September 2008
1.1a Using scientific ideas and models to explain phenomena

3.3b The human reproductive cycle

Until September 2008
QCA unit 7b Reproduction
• The structure and function of human female reproductive organs.

14-16 (KS4)

How science works
Data, evidence, theories and explanations
1c How explanations of many phenomena can be developed using scientific theories, models and ideas.

GCSE specifications
AQA – Core
Unit B 1a
11.1 Menstrual cycle

Gateway – Core
Unit B1
B1g – At fertilization, genetic material from both parents combines to make a unique individual.

21st Century Science – additional
Unit B5
B5.3 How do new organisms develop from a single cell?

Running the activity

If possible, obtain a pomegranate before the lesson. They are usually available from October to January.

Show students the pomegranate. Allow them to try a couple of seeds each if possible (there are about 600 in one pomegranate). Then display page 1, which gives some of the health benefits of pomegranates. Tell students they will be using the pomegranate in a novel way – as a model ovary.

Display pages 2 and 3 and point out a few of the similarities and differences between the pomegranate and a human ovary. Explain the meaning of ova, ovum, ovary and fertilization. Mention that flowers have ovules, which contain ova (egg cells).

Then give each small group a copy of page 4 and a set of cards cut from page 5. Ask students to play the game described on page 4. Encourage them to read out the full correct answers and to discuss them rather than just mark their opponents right or wrong.

Finally, give each student a copy of page 6. This task is designed to get students to evaluate the pomegranate model of the human ovary. The second part of the task should extend more able students.

At some point during the lesson you might like to introduce the Greek myth of Persephone and the pomegranate (see web link below) – the story is an explanation of why we have winter.

[Note: strictly, the 'seeds' are not seeds, but 'arils' (seeds protected by a fleshy covering)]

News links

The Scotsman
A comprehensive summary of some of the health benefits of pomegranates (although not all 'facts' are supported by evidence!
The story of Persephone and the pomegranate

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?

Pomegranate ovary model review

Mar 24th, 2009

5 Star

really great idea the pomegranate comes into its own and is the nearest I've seen to a human ovary Thanks a lot

Reviewer: penny hodges

Repro revision and modelling

Jul 15th, 2008

5 Star

Excellent activity, raelly challenged pupils on evaluating the model, enabling some pupils to really excel.

Reviewer: Michael Corbett

Reproduction pomegranate model

Jun 23rd, 2008

4 Star

A really good idea. The pupils could immediately see the similarities to the human ovary and there was a good class discusssion that led to also finding many differences which really challenged the pupils knowledge of the process of fertilisation in plants and humans. We basically did the task as a class discussion, then summarised the similarities and differences on a slightly different version of the final sheet that i made. Some pupils were also keen to taste the pomegranate at the end and were surprised how sweet it was!

Reviewer: Claire Brown


May 13th, 2008

4 Star

The department found it very interesting and the kids liked it.

Reviewer: Charlene Gayle

about actiity downloads

May 7th, 2008

5 Star

when it is ppt files i am now not able to download the activity. why an option is not made as earlier the activity was in pdf format?

Reviewer: joozar sharafali

Pomegranate ovary model review

Apr 21st, 2008

5 Star

I did this activity with a mixed ability year 7 class. It was extremely useful, especially for the lower ability pupils.

Reviewer: aasiya ismail

Very useful modelling activity

Dec 18th, 2007

5 Star

This was a very useful activity for higher ability year 7s when teaching Reproduction - specifically about ovulation and the menstrual cycle. It prompted lots of discussion in small groups and some excellent reasoning from the pupils. I am sure that they all have a better understanding of the human ovary than they would have done otherwise!

Reviewer: Johanna Cornah