Writing and coloring materials
Take a hike through your back yard and collect as many different kinds
of leaves as you can. Spread them out on a table, and in your notebook, record the following:
- Basic sketch of each leaf
- Color: Compare the top and bottom surfaces
- Vein pattern: is there a central vein?
- Leaf edge: is it smooth or serrated?
- Other details: wax, hairs, thickness
Trace each leaf onto graph paper and count the squares to calculate each leaf’s surface area. Which is your biggest leaf?
The veins you see in your leaf are “pipes” that carry substances throughout the plant. XYLEM carries water from the roots to every leaf. PHLOEM carries food produced in the leaves to the roots. The cells in leaves have special organelles called CHLOROPLASTS that produce food.
Leaf tissue is packed with cells that produce food. This process is called PHOTOSYNTHESIS. Plants absorb light energy and use it to fuel many chemical reactions that convert water and carbon dioxide into food.
A by-product of photosynthesis is oxygen gas.