This week we spent a few days talking about photosynthesis. We covered the basic differences between plant and animal cells last week and I wanted to briefly talk about the process of photosynthesis before moving on to our Human Body unit.
Some of the things we talked about included as we learned about the process of photosynthesis:
- parts of the plant,
- plant cells and the plant organelles,
- what is needed for photosynthesis to occur,
- and we looked really closely at the glucose molecule
We used Botany: Plants, Cells and Photosynthesis (affiliate link) by April Terrazas as our main book this week (though we also read a book from the library and a short section from our science text). Her book explains terms like xylem and phloem in a way that the kids really understood!
You might also want to check out the Botany Coloring Book.(affiliate link) It goes into a lot of detail, so it’s a book that you can pull out several years in a row.
I also made the kids a few notebook pages on photosynthesis, which I will share with you below. We followed our cell unit with a discussion of how photosynthesis works.
Note: These pages (above) are worksheets I made for my kids many years ago, but I have recently replaced them with new material. For the more up-to-date pages see this Plant Cells and Photosynthesis Page:
To make sure the kids really understood how/why plants use carbon dioxide and water molecules to make glucose and oxygen, we brought out our chemistry kit. We used the Molymod Organic Chemistry Molecular Model. (affiliate link). Check out the photo below. [There are a number of different sets with different numbers of pieces. You should look around and decide what’s best for your family.]
Anyway, first we read about atoms and bonds at the website chemistry4kids. Then we built our own carbon dioxide and water molecules. Finally, we broke them apart and used the pieces to build a glucose molecule.
And that was about it with this section. 🙂
If you are touching on chemistry for the first time, you might also be interested in these very basic chemistry worksheets I made for the kids some time back and they are also free here on the blog.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
You may also be interested in our Study of Cells: This is the unit we did that led to this short study of photosynthesis. We talked a lot about the organelles of the cell, the difference between animal and plant cells, how proteins are synthesized, etc.
You might also be interested in some of our other materials:
- Earth Science Packet – 150+ Pages on the layers of the Earth, latitude-longitude, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, and more!
See all of our Earth Science Materials here.
You might also be interested in this post Homeschool Science Unit Checklist for Elementary and Middle School which is a list of the science topics and units I hope to cover in K to Grade 8.