From Seed to Seed:
Activity 15: Floating Leaves?
Associated Lesson Topics:
Planting the seed...
What do you think plants need to survive? Where do you think they get these much-needed resources? What do you think they do with these resources once they have obtained them?
We recommend conducting this demonstration after students have been introduced to the basics of photosynthesis. The purpose is to help solidify students' understanding that during photosynthesis, plants consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. By exposing leaf "discs," in a carbon-rich solution, to light and dark, students will observe photosynthesis and further understand what plants require to photosynthesize.
Harvesting the Crop...
What happened when the leaf discs were placed under lights? In the
dark? Based on what you know about photosynthesis, why do you think this
happened? Why do you think the leaf discs were placed in a solution instead
of just in water? Again, knowing what you do about photosynthesis, what
can you infer that the leaf discs were getting out of the solution? Can
you make suggestions about where they get this normally? Through
this demonstration, students can also learn about respiration. Respiration
is, essentially, the reverse of photosynthesis in that oxygen is consumed
and carbon dioxide is produced.
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