Subskill: Reading Comprehension
Concept: Facts and Details
Grade Level: Upper Elementary
How Plants Feed Themselves
Have you ever wondered how plants feed themselves? Most plants create meals for themselves in the form of sugar. This process is called photosynthesis. The word ‘photo’ means light, and the word ‘synthesis’ means making. Photosynthesis means making food with light.
If we were to put the ingredients for photosynthesis on a recipe card, here is what we would need: water, carbon dioxide from the air, chlorophyll from the cells of green plants, and sunlight for energy. Without these ingredients, plants could not make the sugar they need for food.
Here is how the recipe would work: Photosynthesis begins at the roots of the plant. The roots suck up water from the ground, which travels to the leaves through tubes in the stems of the plant called xylem.
Then carbon dioxide from the air, which is breathed out by animals, is absorbed into the leaves through tiny pores called the stomata. It is then taken to cells inside the leaves. These cells contain a green pigment called chlorophyll. The chlorophyll absorbs energy from the sunlight.
The energy from the sunlight breaks down the water in the leaves and turns it into oxygen and hydrogen. The plant uses some of the oxygen to help it grow, and some of the oxygen is given off into the air. People and animals use oxygen to breathe.
The hydrogen blends with the carbon dioxide inside the cells of the leaves to create food in the form of sugar for the plant. The plant stores the sugar in its leaves, stems and roots. The sugar makes the plant grow.
Since most living things eat plants, it can be said that photosynthesis is the source of all life. The process of photosynthesis continually regenerates oxygen in our environment. Altogether, the ingredients used in the photosynthesis recipe feed almost all living things on Earth.
Here are some questions to ask after listening to the passage:
According to this passage,
What is photosynthesis?
How do plants feed themselves?
What are some ingredients for photosynthesis?