Sunday, July 4, 2010

Why do plants wilt? A science lesson in the kitchen

How do we teach kids science issues related to plants such as evaporation, osmosis, cells and absorption?

The kitchen provides a great opportunity to teach our kids about plants, their need for water and bringing them back to live within a few minutes. Did you know that the wilted vegetables from your refrigerator offers tremendous amount of teaching lessons?

I did not think about it too much until I saw some wilted leave vegetables in my refrigerator.

I told my kids I will show them some magic.

I said that I would magically make the vegetable come to live!

Make your kids place the vegetables in a bowl of water.

Walla! After just a few minutes, the leaves have regained their freshness

What happened?

The way you explain to your kids depends on your kids’ ages, understanding and keenness. Apply your best judgment in explaining. I personally think, we should not transform it into a classroom type scenario. It would not work in getting their interest. The explanation needs to stick in their minds.
Roselle Crafty Science Printed Educational Construction Paper, "Plant and Butterfly Life Cycles" Pad, 12 x 18 Inches, Assorted, 60 Count (02822-8)
You may wish to use these explanations:

Plants lose water through evaporation – like how we sweat. Can you see the sweat when you play?

Plants are made of cells – just like how we build a building with bricks. There is water in the cells, which is lost through evaporation. Evaporation is where water is lost into the air. It leaves the plant.

The water will not be replaced if you don’t give your plant or vegetables water.

They will start to lose their shape and strength and become floopy.

Water your plant or keep your vegetable in water for a while, and it will regain its shape.
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization
Plants takes in water by a process called osmosis. (Figure out something funny for them to remember the word – particularly for the older kids)

This is why a wilted plant or even a wilted stalk of celery will become firm again if given water.

Water is the most essential thing for life.
What If: Mind-Boggling Science Questions for Kids

Parents, I hope this little tip will help you.

Happy cooking and teaching!

No comments:

Post a Comment