Download This Lesson: Presto, Changeo
Brief Description: Students will learn about the importance of green plants and the process of photosynthesis. They will learn new vocabulary and do experiments to test their hypotheses using plants. Students will also be able to act out and present the steps of Photosynthesis.
Focus Areas: Plant Lifestyles; Science, Math
Focus Skills: recognizing cause and effect, comparing and contrasting, simulating, recognizing patterns
- To understand the process of photosynthesis
- To recognize the importance of green plants
- How do green plants produce food?
- Why are all other living things dependent on green plants?
Because green plants are the only living organisms capable of producing heir own food, all other living organisms depend on them either directly or indirectly for survival.
Green plants are the only living organisms that produce their own food. Light provides the energy to create a chemical reaction within specialized cells, called chloroplasts, in the leaves. Chlorophyll present in the chloroplasts captures light energy and uses it to produce simple sugars from carbon dioxide and water. This sugar is transported to other parts of the plant where it is either used as energy, formed into building blocks for growth, or stored. When animals including us) eat green plants, we gain the benefits of these products within the plant.
In addition to the energy we gain from eating green plants or animals who have eaten them as part of their diet, we need plants to breathe! Oxygen is given off by green plants in the process of photosynthesis.
Green plants are the lungs of the earth! All animals inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen as they make food.
atom – the smallest particle of a single element
carbon dioxide – a gas exhaled by animals as a by-product of respiration (breathing) and used by plants to produce food
chlorophyll – a green substance in the leaves of most plants that absorbs energy from light and stores it as chemical energy
chloroplast – the part of the leaf that contains the chlorophyll, and the place where photosynthesis takes place
element – a material in which all atoms are the same
exhale – to breathe out
hydrogen – a gas found in nature and part of a water molecule
inhale – to breathe in
molecule – the combination of two or more atoms
oxygen – a gas inhaled by animals but given off byplants as a waste product during photosynthesis
photosynthesis – the process by which plants store energy to produce food
primary consumption- eating green plants
secondary consumption – eating an animal or product from an animal that eats green plants
stomata – tiny openings in the leaf that allow air (containing carbon dioxide and oxygen) to enter and oxygen and water vapor to leave the plant
Time: two 20-minute sessions and time to check experiment during
Group Size: 18 to 36
Space: comfortable seating; an open area to allow movement
Handout 1 “Plants for Breakfast” with Answer Key *
Handout 2 “Photosynthesis Recipe” *
Handout 3 “Assessment” with Answer Key *
a house plant
blue, white, and red construction paper circles,
3” diameter minimum
green construction paper squares, 3” x 3”
* single copy provided
- Gather materials.
- Make copies of Handout 1, “Plants for Breakfast.”
- Prepare circles: 24 white circles marked with a large H, 24 blue circles marked with a large O, and 6 red circles marked with a large C.
- Prepare green squares as needed to allow each participant to take an active part in the simulation.
Correlations to State of Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction
ELA = English Language Arts, HE/PE = Health Education and Physical Education, MA = Mathematics, SCI = Science, SS = Social Studies, VPA = Visual and Performing Arts
** Alignment possible only if lesson extension is done
Maine Learning Results
ELA – C1. Students create, identify, and answer research
questions by gathering information from Print and non-
print sources and communicating findings.
c. Collect, evaluate, and organize information for a
d. Communicate findings from a variety of print and