Exercises and experiments to study photosynthesis in the classroom - project science tree (2023)

Exercises and experiments to study photosynthesis in the classroom - project science tree (1)Every time you take a deep breath or eat your favorite food, it's because of plants. This is because plants give off oxygen and provide food for all animals on earth. Learning the details of photosynthesis can help students better understand how plants provide these life-sustaining elements.

Photosynthesis can be a difficult concept to understand. With this in mind, we have prepared a set of practical exercises and experiments to show students some of the concepts in practice.

In addition to the ideas below, there is something new from PLTKnow Your Environment: A K-8 Class Guidein PLTHandbook of ecological education in preschool age 8Both offer tons of hands-on, creative activities and resources for teaching photosynthesis. Each guide includes an extensive subject index to help you quickly find a list of the right activities to suit your needs. In addition, each activity has a background section for teachers that provides a scientific introduction to the content of the activity. We also have some short versions on tree physiology and photosynthesis that families can try out together at home, such as:How plants growItree factory.

Introduction to photosynthesis

The word "photosynthesis" comes from the Greek root words, which together mean "to connect by light".

All plants, algae and some microorganisms such as bacteria use photosynthesis to produce their own food. They belong to a group of organisms called autotrophs. Unlike heterotrophs, which include animals that feed on other living organisms, autotrophs create organic nutrients from simple inorganic substances. What a superpower!

Exercises and experiments to study photosynthesis in the classroom - project science tree (2)

For photosynthesis, plants need carbon dioxide from the air, water from the soil and sunlight. These elements combine in a chemical reaction inside the leaves of the plant to form glucose and oxygen.

Absorbs carbon dioxide and water

Carbon dioxide can be produced naturally from the decomposition of living organisms and events such as volcanic eruptions, as well as from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

Animals breathe by inhaling gases in the air, storing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. However, when plants breathe, they take in carbon dioxide, which is an important part of photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide enters the plant through stomata, tiny pores that are usually found on the underside of leaves and sometimes on stems. Most plants absorb another substance needed for photosynthesis through their roots: water.


When a plant has carbon dioxide and water available, it needs energy for the two substances to chemically react with each other. It draws its energy from an even beam of sunlight falling on its leaves. Chlorophyll, a green pigment found in tiny leaf structures called chloroplasts, absorbs the energy of the sun's blue and red light waves. The energy from sunlight is then transferred to two types of energy storage molecules in the plant.

(Video) "Photosynthesis" experiment (How to make oxygen at home)

The energy already stored in the sun triggers a reaction in the chloroplasts of the leaves that splits water molecules (H20) in pure hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O).2). Hydrogen reacts with carbon dioxide (CO).2) to produce glucose, a type of sugar. Thefull chemical equation of photosynthesisIt looks like this:

6CO2+6 hours20 + sunlight → C6H12O6+ 6O2

In other words, the carbon dioxide and water entering the plant combine with the energy of sunlight to produce glucose as well as oxygen.

Store and use glucose

Once these sugars are made, they can be stored as energy (food) that the plant uses for growth and regeneration. In addition to glucose, plants also use energy from nutrients in the soil to grow and develop leaves, flowers, and fruits.

Students often wonder how an invisible gas like carbon dioxide helps shape the giant tree or apple they eat for lunch. This is because a chemical reaction doesn't necessarily have to start with a solid (like soil) to end with a solid (like a tree or an apple). It helps students understand the carbon cycle - and PLT has a range of content to support this.

Glucose is a carbohydrate which is simply a molecule containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Smaller glucose molecules can build larger carbohydrates such as cellulose or starch.

Like the human skeleton, cellulose is a major component of plant cell walls, helping to make the plant stronger. Humans cannot digest cellulose, but the fiber in cellulose-rich foods such as celery and broccoli aids digestion and may reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer. These strong fibers are also used to make clothing and paper. Animals such as cows, horses and sheep can digest cellulose, so it makes sense for them to eat grass for quick energy and nutrients.

Plants can also convert glucose into starch, a larger carbohydrate molecule that can store energy. Humans break down the starches in foods like potatoes and rice into glucose, which in turn gives them energy.

While you may not be using sunlight to prepare your food, when you eat chicken or rice, you are consuming energy plants that use the sun. And the plant, through photosynthesis, not only produces the food that animals need for energy, but also releases oxygen as a byproduct into the atmosphere through its stomata.

(Video) Photosynthesis 3D Model For School Project | Science Project |

Photosynthesis is essential for the survival of all living organisms – not just plants.

Practical classes on photosynthesis

Photosynthesis can be a difficult concept to understand, especially for younger students. That's why we've put together these interactive exercises and experiments that show some of the concepts in action.

Visual representations of photosynthesis

These photosynthesis modeling exercises will help students visualize and better understand what a plant needs to photosynthesize and what it produces as a result. The 3D and 2D representations will also help them learn the vocabulary related to photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis 3D: list of tree models

Older students can create these more complex 3D models of the front and back of the leaf, where all photosynthesis takes place, such as stomata and chloroplasts. They attach labels to the sheet describing the different substances it contains.

Peculiarities of photosynthesis

Younger students will enjoy this less complicated visual activity that involves a piece of paper with "IN" and "OUT" envelopes into which they put the appropriate chemical reagents or products of photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis paper craft

Take your lessons in an artistic direction by having your students create colorful and fun paper flowers and sun, complete with basic concepts of photosynthesis.

Explore leaves with STEM

Challenging real leaves, these STEM experiments will encourage valuable critical thinking as students observe leaf structure, foliage, plant respiration, and more.

Breathable leaves

The invisible chemical process by which a leaf exchanges carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight for oxygen becomes apparent as your class observes what happens when leaves are submerged in water.

Microscopic examination of the stomach

Using a microscope, students study the structure of a leaf that enables gas exchange during photosynthesis. You can also study other parts of the leaves and learn how plants gain weight.

(Video) Experiment: To test a leaf for starch

Comparison of dental microscopes

Compare the size and number of leaves of different plant species under a microscope and study the structure of the leaves, creating cool "nail polish prints".

Exploring plants and sunlight

Plants need sunlight to survive, so changing their access to sunlight can change their behavior or appearance. These activities explore this concept.

Measure plant growth using sunlight

This activity will take several weeks, but will provide students with valuable insight into the effects of varying amounts of sunlight exposure over time on plant growth and green coloration. They will demonstrate critical thinking by taking daily notes and deducing what happens to the seeds under different lighting conditions.

rotating plants

Watch plants around the world turn to the sun with this fun activity. It shows young students how active plants can be when it comes to collecting valuable solar energy. You can grow seedlings or even experiment with a larger plant and see how its color or growth affects you when you rotate it or move it closer or farther away from the sun.

Fun with plant pigmentation

You can have a lot of fun with the chlorophyll in the leaves, including art and color experiments!

Chlorophyll imaging

The pigment chlorophyll not only makes plants green, but also makes the leaves a great substrate for "green" art projects! Kids will love this unusual style of painting, learning about chlorophyll first hand while developing their creativity.

Leaf color chemical experiment

At the start of the school year, use green leaves, rubbing alcohol, coffee filters, and other easy-to-find items to recreate the way leaves change in fall. The chlorophyll pigments fade to reveal the hidden pigments that show why leaves change color in fall - and your class can then consider this revealing experiment as well.

Let the project science tree guide you

Introduce students to the world of photosynthesis with these new PLT activitiesKnow Your Environment: A K-8 Class Guide:

See an example of action!Ten movieguides viewers through the Signs of Fall PLT activity. In this activity, participants will learn about different leaf pigments and use chromatography to separate leaf pigments using simple household items. It helps to answer the question: "Why do leaves change color?".

(Video) Light is necessary for photosynthesis

For more guides on teaching basic photosynthesis concepts in the classroom, as well as other fun activities, click herethis lessonwith science tree design. It is suggested to link selected PLT exercises to help students learn more about photosynthesis using the storytelling technique. Stories enable linkage and continuity between activities and can serve as the "educational glue" that connects many areas of knowledge and skills. The unit includes the guiding question, concepts covered, and links to the Next Generation PLT (NGSS) Scientific Standards and the Forest Literacy Framework.

To enrich your classroom with 50 hands-on, field-tested, multi-disciplinary activities that engage and connect elementary school students with nature in an impressive wayrecommended lessonsThen you've come to the right place in the Project Learning TreeKnow Your Environment: A K-8 Class Guide.

  • Bio

Exercises and experiments to study photosynthesis in the classroom - project science tree (3)

Rebecca Reynandez

Rebecca Reynandez is a marketing and communications consultant and director of Spring Media Strategies, LLC. He has been working with non-profit organizations for ten years and now focuses on working with environmental organizations. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

(Video) photosynthesis working model science project exhibition - diy | craftpiller


How do you demonstrate photosynthesis in the classroom? ›

Using construction paper and crayons or markers, have your child design a pictorial representation of photosynthesis.
  1. Instruct your child to draw a plant or flower on the paper.
  2. Have your child draw a sun above the plant to symbolize the sun's energy.
  3. Ask your child to add a source of water for the plant.

What experiments can you do with photosynthesis? ›

  • Students place a leaf in a clear cup of water. Then, they place the other leaf in the other cup of water. ...
  • After about 20 minutes, you will see tiny bubbles begin to form on the edges of the leaf. ...
  • Students should check the cups every 30 minutes and record changes to both cups on their lab sheets.
Mar 14, 2022

What is the easy experiment for photosynthesis? ›

In a wide-mouthed glass bottle, add 10-15 ml of potassium hydroxide solution and split the cork vertically. Now carefully insert half part of a leaf into a glass bottle through the split cork and the other half exposed to air. Place the complete unit undisturbed in sunlight for about 3 – 4 hours.

What is photosynthesis question answers? ›

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to create oxygen and energy in the form of sugar.

What is a real life example of photosynthesis? ›

The paper in notebook and books comes directly from photosynthesis. Paper is made mostly of cellulose, a compound formed by stringing many sugar molecules together to form a starch. These sugars come directly from the process of photosynthesis and cellulose is what gives a plant its structure.

How do you introduce a topic about photosynthesis? ›

Photosynthesis is the process in which light energy is converted to chemical energy in the form of sugars. In a process driven by light energy, glucose molecules (or other sugars) are constructed from water and carbon dioxide, and oxygen is released as a byproduct.

What plant is best for a photosynthesis experiment? ›

Introduction. Egeria densa, also known as Elodea densa because of its previously incorrect classification in the Elodea genus, is the most popular aquatic plant used to teach photosynthesis in the classroom.

What are 2 examples of photosynthesis? ›

Examples of photosynthesizing organisms: Green plants, cyanobacteria (earlier termed as blue-green algae), and different types of algae that essentially carry out phytoplankton photosynthesis.

Which light is best for photosynthesis experiment? ›

The best wavelengths of visible light for photosynthesis fall within the blue range (425–450 nm) and red range (600–700 nm). Therefore, the best light sources for photosynthesis should ideally emit light in the blue and red ranges.

What are the 4 main things for photosynthesis? ›

Chlorophyll, sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water are the necessary conditions required for photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is a photosynthetic pigment that absorbs sunlight in the wavelength of 680 nm and 700 nm. Sunlight is essential for the excitation of molecules.

What is photosynthesis Class 7 questions and answers? ›

This energy is utilized to produce food by combining carbon dioxide and water. As this food synthesis process relies on sunlight, it is known as photosynthesis. Definition of Photosynthesis: The process of making food by green plants in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll is known as photosynthesis.

What are some questions about photosynthesis? ›

Photosynthesis test questions
  • What is the role of chlorophyll? ...
  • Which useful energy conversion is carried out by chlorophyll? ...
  • What are the products of the light reactions? ...
  • In photosynthesis, what is ATP required for? ...
  • In which cell organelles does carbon fixation occur?

How do you explain photosynthesis step by step? ›

There are generally four steps of the photosynthesis process.
  1. Absorption of light.
  2. Transfer Of Electron.
  3. Production Of ATP.
  4. Carbon Fixation.

What are 5 things about photosynthesis? ›

There is more to growing than just the basics of sunlight and water. In fact, there are five important factors in determining how well your plants or crops will do: sunlight, carbon dioxide, water, soil organisms, and nutrients.

What are two examples of why photosynthesis is important? ›

Photosynthesis is the major source of oxygen that is breathed by humans and other animals. Most of the oxygen we breathe is derived from photosynthesis. 2. It is the major source of food for all food webs / food chains.

Where does photosynthesis live? ›

In plants, photosynthesis takes place in chloroplasts, which contain the chlorophyll. Chloroplasts are surrounded by a double membrane and contain a third inner membrane, called the thylakoid membrane, that forms long folds within the organelle.

What are 3 key ideas about photosynthesis? ›

To perform photosynthesis, plants need three things: carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight. for photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide enters through tiny holes in a plant's leaves, flowers, branches, stems, and roots. Plants also require water to make their food.

What is the important topic of photosynthesis? ›

It is a physicochemical process that uses sunlight for the synthesis of organic compounds. In this process, oxygen is released into the atmosphere. Photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplast, found in the mesophyll cells of the leaves.

What type of reaction is photosynthesis? ›

Photosynthesis is an endothermic reaction. This means it cannot occur without energy (from the Sun). The light required is absorbed by a green pigment called chlorophyll in the leaves. Chlorophyll is found in chloroplasts in plant cells , particularly the palisade and spongy mesophyll cells .

What are 3 plants that use photosynthesis? ›

Aquatic plants and land plants (flowering plants, mosses, and ferns) help to regulate atmospheric carbon by removing carbon dioxide from the air. Plants are also important for the production of oxygen, which is released into the air as a valuable by-product of photosynthesis.

What are the 3 types of plants based on photosynthesis? ›

There are three main types of photosynthetic pathways: C3, C4 and CAM. They all produce sugars from CO2 using the Calvin cycle, but each pathway is slightly different.

Do plants use heat or light for photosynthesis? ›

All plants require light for photosynthesis, the process within a plant that converts light, oxygen and water into carbohydrates (energy). Plants require this energy in order to grow, bloom and produce seed.

What do plants need for photosynthesis? ›

Carbon dioxide, water, and light are the ingredients plants need in order to make their food to grow. Carbon dioxide is a gas that we humans breathe out. Plants need to take in carbon dioxide as part of their nourishment.

What do plants need to grow? ›

All plants need space to grow, the right temperature, light, water, air, nutrients, and time.

What are some fun facts about photosynthesis? ›

Photosynthesis makes the planet liveable.

Photosynthetic organisms remove carbon dioxide from the air. Carbon dioxide is transformed into other organic compounds, supporting life. While animals exhale carbon dioxide, trees and algae act as a carbon sink, keeping most of the element out of the air.

How do you experiment the need for light in photosynthesis? ›

Investigating the need for light in photosynthesis

Cover part of a leaf with lightproof paper/foil. Make a drawing of the leaf. Place the plant in bright light for several hours. Test the leaf for starch using the 4-step starch test.

What is the dependent variable in the photosynthesis experiment? ›

Independent variable: the light intensity (how close the light is). Dependant variable: the number of oxygen bubbles given off (the rate of photosynthesis).

What is the effect of light on the photosynthesis experiment? ›

An increase in light intensity will produce an increase in the rate of photosynthesis until a level of light intensity is reached [normally 38% 1] above which the rate does not increase because the light saturation point has been reached and another factor (CO2 concentration or temperature) is limiting.

What is the process of photosynthesis for 5th graders? ›

Photosynthesis starts when chlorophyll absorbs energy from sunlight. Green plants use this light energy to change water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and nutrients called sugars. The plants use some of the sugars and store the rest. The oxygen is released into the air.

What is photosynthesis for 7th grade? ›

Photosynthesis is a chemical reaction that occurs in plants by using radiant energy from sunlight. In this chemical reaction, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from the soil are combined to produce sugar (glucose) that contains stored chemical energy.

What is Stage 2 of photosynthesis called? ›

It is also known as Calvin cycle. In the Calvin cycle, carbon dioxide is used to produce glucose.

What are the 6 products of photosynthesis? ›

In photosynthesis, energy from light is used to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. For 6 carbon dioxide and 6 water molecules, 1 glucose molecule and 6 oxygen molecules are produced.

How many steps are in photosynthesis? ›

There are two main stages of photosynthesis: the light-dependent reactions and the Calvin cycle.

What is the formula of photosynthesis? ›

The chemical equation for photosynthesis is 6CO2+6H2O→C6H12O6+6O2. 6CO2+6H2O→C6H12O6+6O2. In plants, the process of photosynthesis takes place in the mesophyll of the leaves, inside the chloroplasts. Chloroplasts contain disc-shaped structures called thylakoids, which contain the pigment chlorophyll.

What is photosynthesis grade 10? ›

Photosynthesis is a process by which phototrophs convert light energy into chemical energy, which is later used to fuel cellular activities. The chemical energy is stored in the form of sugars, which are created from water and carbon dioxide.

What is the Class 6 photosynthesis? ›

Photosynthesis is the process in which solar energy is trapped by chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide and water to produce food in the form of glucose. It is produced in plants where chlorophyll is present inside the chloroplast as trapping the solar energy initiates the process.

What are the 5 steps of photosynthesis in order? ›

Process/ Steps of Photosynthesis
  • Absorption of light. The first step in photosynthesis is the absorption of light by chlorophylls that are attached to the proteins in the thylakoids of chloroplasts. ...
  • Electron Transfer. ...
  • Generation of ATP. ...
  • Carbon Fixation.
Jun 28, 2022

What are the simple steps of photosynthesis for kids? ›

There are two main phases to the process of photosynthesis. In the first phase, sunlight is captured by the chloroplasts and the energy is stored in a chemical called ATP. In the second phase, the ATP is used to create sugar and organic compounds. These are the foods plants use to live and grow.

How will you demonstrate an activity to show that chlorophyll is essential for photosynthesis? ›

Take a potted plant with variegated leaves like croton and keep it in a dark region, away from sunlight for 3 days. This will halt photosynthesis and de-starch the plant. Then keep the plant facing the sunlight for 6 to 8 hours. The plant can now carry out photosynthesis and produce starch.

How can we demonstrate that sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis? ›

- The leaf which turned blue-black is a leaf which is placed in sunlight, and photosynthesis occurred and starch was produced. - So starch is produced only in the leaves which are exposed to sunlight, and this proves that sunlight is very essential for plants to do photosynthesis.

What is an evidence of the occurrence of photosynthesis in an experiment? ›

Conclusion: Since the leaf in the real experiment turned blue-black with iodine solution, it shows that photosynthesis has taken place or starch is formed by the leaf.

How would you demonstrate that oxygen is released during photosynthesis? ›

Observation: Gas bubbles in a test tube. Result: Presence of oxygen. Conclusion: Formation of gas bubbles prove that oxygen is produced by the green plants during photosynthesis.

How can you prove that the leaves other than green also carry out photosynthesis? ›

Performing an iodine test will prove that leaves other than green in colour also have stored carbohydrate in them. Iodine, in the presence of starch, turns into a blue-black colour. But if the leaf does not turn blue-black on iodine's addition, then it proves it does not do the photosynthesis.

What is photosynthesis with the help of an experiment prove that light and CO2 is necessary for photosynthesis? ›

Experiment to prove the necessity of carbon dioxide in photosynthesis. Insert a part of the leaf of a destarched plant into a conical flask containing potassium hydroxide. Potassium hydroxide solution absorbs the carbon dioxide gas from the air present in the glass bottle. Leave the plant sunlight.

How does light affect photosynthesis experiment? ›

As you rise from low light intensity to higher light intensity, the rate of photosynthesis will increase because there is more light available to drive the reactions of photosynthesis.

What are the five steps of a light reaction in photosynthesis? ›

13.5: The Light-dependent Reactions
  • Photosystems Absorb Light Energy.
  • Electrons Move Down the Electron Transport Chain, Providing Energy to Pump Protons into the Thylakoid Lumen.
  • Photophosphorylation.
  • Water Photolysis.
  • Reduction of NADP+
May 4, 2022

What is the aim of the photosynthesis experiment? ›

To test the ability of plants to synthesis their food (sugars). To demonstrate the effect of light, carbon dioxide and chlorophyll on photosynthesis.

Why is light important for photosynthesis? ›

The energy from light causes a chemical reaction that breaks down the molecules of carbon dioxide and water and reorganizes them to make the sugar (glucose) and oxygen gas. After the sugar is produced, it is then broken down by the mitochondria into energy that can be used for growth and repair.

How do you experiment to show carbon dioxide is necessary for photosynthesis? ›

Take potassium hydroxide in a conical flask stoppered with a rubber cork. Insert one leaf (still attached to the parent plant) through a hole in the rubber cork. Potassium hydroxide absorbs all the leftover carbon dioxide from the flask. The entire arrangement is exposed to sunlight for 6 hours.


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