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7. How does a plant grow?

Instructions: For this experiment each student should have their own plant.

1. Each student should make a plant pot from brown paper and using the plant pot maker. Each pot should be clearly marked with the students name.

2. Each pot should be half filled with growing media (for this we use perlite) and then a seed is added to the pot. The best seeds to use for this experiment are large bean seeds such as kidney beans. A bag of dried kidney beans from the store should work very well.

3. The bean should be planted about 1/2 inch under the surface, then covered with more perlite or growing media.

4. Each student may make a decision about where to grow their plants. This can be on a window sill, or outside, or under a cardboard box, or a box with a hole cut in one end. Any ideas are appreciated and tried.

5. Each pot is carefully watered with nutrient water every day. This does not have to include the weekend. Be sure not to flood the plants.

6. At the end of one week the plants are all observed. Each student has access to a ruler, and paper and pencil. All are encouraged to observe the plants and find ways to compare. This can be drawings, measurements, thoughts put on paper.

7. At the end of observation each plant is replaced where it was and still watered for another week. The observation is repeated at the end of the week.


In an experiment about light, we found that the plant was able to bend towards the light.

How does a plant do this, how does it know where the light is?

A plant has to have light to grow. It uses light for energy. In fact, plants capture all the energy that we use for food. We cannot capture sunlight and convert it into food. We have a plant dependency.

So how does it move towards the light?

What part of the plant appears to be bending?

Lets take a closer look at the stem, a much closer look.

If there is a microscope available, you can cut small parts of stem from the bending side and the side that is not bending.


Did your plant get bigger from the first to the second week?

How do you know that it is bigger? Can you measure the plant?

Draw a picture of the plant after the first week. What do you notice about the plant? Compare it to other plants. How is your plant different?

Some of the plants will be crippled in some way for being growing in places with low light or no light. Place these plants in areas with good lighting conditions and see if they can recover. Have they become too stringy?

Select the appropriate units and tools to measure length, perimeter, weight, area, volume, time, temperature, money, and angle. Students will choose the most appropriate tool and unit of measurement for common, everyday objects including: length-inch, foot, yard, mile, centimeter, meter, kilometer. perimeter-addition of units of length. weight-ounce, pound, gram, kilogram. area-in rectangular shapes. volume (capacity)-teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, pint, quart, gallon, milliliter, liter. time-second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year. temperature-degrees Fahrenheit, degrees Celsius. money-recognition of all coins, change from $1.00. angle-degrees. Measure length, perimeter, weight, area, time, and temperature using standard and nonstandard units of measurement. Students will measure in: length and perimeter-inches, feet, yards, centimeters. weight-pounds, kilograms. area-square units. time-minutes, hours, days. temperature-degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius. Estimate measurements of length and weight. Students will estimate: length in inches, feet, yards, centimeters, or meters. weight in pounds or kilograms.

Revised: 1 May 2016
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