Plants are such a fun topic to study! You have access to free study material right outside your house – or in your house if you have plants growing inside!
What do you know about how plants grow? Did you know they make their own food? They do! (and they don’t even need to leave their spot to use a kitchen! LOL)
The endosperm in the seed provides the food needed as it erupts into a plant and then the process of photosynthesis begins when the plant has leave to make food.
Through capillary action, the plant sucks water up from the ground just like we drink through a straw! In the first experiment, you can see how that process works and see evidence through your investigation and experimentation!
In the second experiment, you can explore the entire plant! From bottom to top or top to bottom – check out all the parts of a plant! You can also print out the parts of a plant worksheets (free download) and label the parts on the blank page.
For a language arts extension, color the flower in whatever colors you’re inspired to use and then write a sentence – or a whole story – about your flower!
How do the plants suck up water?
- Celery and/or white carnations
- Food coloring
- Tall cup or vase – allow one for non-colored water and one or more for colored water
- Fill a cup with water and food coloring. Be sure to use a good amount of food coloring for the best results.
- Cut the bottoms of the stems of the celery and/or flowers
- Put them into the colored water. Also put some into non-colored water for comparison.
- Allow the stems to sit for at least 12 hours. What do you observe?
- Cut cross sections of the stems to view the xylem!
- For additional experimentation, try it with different types of flowers.
Plants draw up water through tiny tubes called xylem. They do this through capillary action. The adhesion of the liquid to the walls of the tubes along with the cohesion of the water to the other water molecules allows it to flow up from the roots to the rest of the plant even traveling up the stem against gravity!
- Plants to explore
- Weed from your yard or garden, be sure to get the roots as well.
- Plant from the store (inexpensive is best!)
- Plant you’ve grown from a seed
- Tray or large bowl to prevent soil from getting everywhere
- Discover all of the parts of the plant!
- Pull off each leaf and feel and compare the top of the leaf, to the bottom of the leaf. Do you feel the veins where the nutrients travel?
- Break off a piece of the stem and see if you can find the xylem. See how strong the stem is. Does this plant have a strong stem? Some are stronger than others.
- Now pull on the stem to get the roots up. You may have to dig up some of the soil to see and feel the roots. Does this plant have a large ball or bulb with roots coming out of it, or can you only see the roots. Are there many roots, or just a few? Do the roots go deep? Or are they spread out to the sides?
As we discovered last week, plants grow from seeds. Those seeds feed the plant until they can make their own food through photosynthesis from the sun. Also in the seed is the first root (radicle) and the first baby leaves. The leaves grow up to reach the sun and the root grows down to draw nutrients from the soil allowing the plant to grow, make more seeds and start the cycle over again!