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Plants are Alive too! Investigating Leaves at Bushnell Elementary

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

After discussing plant respiration (plants breathe too!) Bushnell elementary 1st and 2nd graders used magnifying glasses to search for evidence. The students were delighted to discover tiny bubbles of oxygen coming from their submerged leaves. To help the concepts sink in we alternated between breathing like humans and animals (inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide) and pretending to be plants (breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen).

The students agreed that humans could not live without plants and the oxygen they produce!

After exploring plant respiration we moved on to how plants make their own food from the sun. I introduced the term chlorophyll and we talked about how it gives plants their green color and can absorb sunlight to produce food for the plant. The children then made their own “chlorophyll leaf prints.”

Students using parchment paper, leaves and rocks to make their own leaf prints.

Second graders making chlorophyll leaf prints in their garden journals.

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