Photosynthesis and Plant Structure

Today we studied plants and how they are important to life on Earth. Plants give us clean air to breathe, materials for shelter and fuels, medicines, and food. While we can get our energy from eating plants and animals, plants get their energy from a process called photosynthesis—they use light energy (sunlight) to convert water and carbon dioxide to sugar and oxygen

Students used beads to represent the different molecules of water and carbon dioxide that make up the ingredients of photosynthesis. They then used those ingredients to build a big glucose molecule, which represents the sugar that the plant makes. A second product of photosynthesis besides glucose is oxygen. Students discovered that they had many oxygen molecules left over once they had created the glucose molecule.

It is beneficial for all animals (humans included) that plants generate oxygen because it is the gas that we inhale and need to survive. The carbon dioxide gas that animals exhale during respiration is beneficial to plants because they need it to perform photosynthesis. Life on Earth is balanced when we have enough plants and animals present!

We also provided each class with two stalks of celery placed in a cup of colored water (red or blue). Students will make observations about any changes to the celery over the next 24-48 hours. Ms. A and Mrs. Costa have encouraged students to record observations on their half-worksheet (from today) and to comment below; we are eager to read about any changes they have encountered. We will analyze these observations upon our next visit when we learn more about plant anatomy and pollination.

La Estructura de las Plantas

En la clase de hoy aprendimos sobre las plantas y cuan importantes son para la vida en nuestro planeta. Las plantas nos entregan aire limpio para respirar, materiales para refugio, combustibles, medicinas y son una fuente de alimento. Nosotros los humanos obtenemos energía al alimentarnos de plantas, pero éstas obtienen su energía mediante un proceso llamado fotosíntesis. En este proceso las plantas utilizan energía lumínica (luz solar) para convertir agua y dióxido de carbono en azúcar y oxígeno.

Utilizando mostacillas como un modelo de las moléculas de agua y dióxido de carbono, los estudiantes construyeron una molécula de glucosa, que representa el azúcar que las plantas generan a través del proceso de fotosíntesis. Además del azúcar, durante la fotosíntesis también se genera un segundo “producto”, el oxígeno. Los estudiantes se dieron cuenta que “sobraron” muchas moléculas de oxígeno después de crear la molécula de glucosa. Es beneficioso que las plantas generen oxígeno para todos los animales (incluyendo a los humanos), pues el oxígeno es el gas que inhalamos y necesitamos para sobrevivir. Y a su vez, es beneficioso para las plantas que nosotros exhalamos dióxido de carbono durante la respiración, pues ellas lo necesitan para hacer fotosíntesis. Existe un equilibrio en la Tierra cuando existe el número adecuado de plantas y animales.

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Our Young Pre classroom is for ages. This age group is working