What are plants?
Plants are vital for human survival and important for human well-being. Everything depends on plants. Plants are alive and have needs just like people and animals. Plants need air, water, nutrients, and sunlight so they can stay alive. One characteristic that distinguishes plants from most other living things is the ability to make their own food. This process is called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is when plants use energy from the sun to grow and reproduce. Oxygen is a byproduct of photosynthesis (Center for Informal Science Education [CISE], n.d.).
What are the parts of a plant? What is their function?
There are four basic parts of a plant – the leaf, stem, flower and root. Each of these parts does different things for the plant to help it survive (Robinson, 2007).
In the same way that humans need nutrient to stay healthy and grow, plants also need nutrients to grow. Roots act like straws absorbing water and minerals from the soil (CISE, n.d.; Hoffman, 2009; Waldron, 2014). They also “hold the plant in place” so it does not fall over (Waldron, 2014, p. 8). Roots are usually found in the lower end of the plant.
Plants need energy to grow and they get this energy from food they make themselves (Waldron, 2014, p.14). Inside the plant’s leaves are tiny food factories called chloroplasts, which contain a substance called Chlorophyll. It not only uses energy from the sun to make food but also gives leaves their green colour (CISE, n.d.; Waldron, 2014; Robinson, 2007). This process is called photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants take the carbon dioxide in the air and release oxygen. There are many hidden colour in leaves. As Autumn arrives, leaves lose their chlorop...
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...ke all living things, plants too have a life cycle. At this point in the interview, Billy is acknowledging that a plants life begins as a seed but doesn’t elaborate on his knowledge of the seed germination process. This could be the result of having not been exposed to this biological concept. This partial understanding can be viewed as a starting point for future instruction or activities.
From this interview it is clear that Billy held very simple ideas about plants and their functions, consistent with his drawing and interview findings. The interviewer’s questioning strategies influenced the effectiveness of the interview and created an environment in which Billy felt comfortable to share information. Such information will help to ensure that any scientific learning Billy engages in will be relevant, so that he can make links between science and everyday life.
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