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Plants in our Midst: Roots

The children have identified many ways as to how trees and bushes are used by humans and animals. This week, we began to explore in more detail parts of a plant in particular the roots.  I asked the children what does a root do, they replied with two ideas: helps plants grow and helps plants to stand.  

We did a number of activities to support the children's knowledge of the function of roots.
Closely looking at the
 roots.

Being a root nourishing
the plant
We examined the roots of plants (weeds) found in our area and conducted an experiment to see how roots send water to the rest of the plant.  The children put the end of cotton yarn in blue coloured water to simulate how water moves up a root.  Over the course of the day, the children could see how the water travelled up the string as a root would to nourish the plant.

Measuring how far the water
has travelled
To see how roots help plants stand we put a cut flower stem in with a potted plant.  It was clear to see how the flower stem had no stability and was easy to pull out of the soil unlike the potted plant. The children asked to leave the flower in the soil to see if it could survive with no roots.  We will continue to monitor it.
So much water travelled up
the "root" that there was a puddle!

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