MICHIGAN FORESTS FOREVER TEACHERS GUIDE
|PHOTOSYNTHESIS & RESPIRATION|
"Sunlight & Shades of Green", Project Learning Tree Pre K-8 Guide, Seventh Edition, page 137, Activity #42
This activity introduces students to photosynthesis, the process that enables trees and other green plants to use sunlight to manufacture their own food.
The purpose of photosynthesis is to produce sugars (plant food). The energy stored from photosynthesis is also what animals rely upon. Oxygen is a by-product that gets too much of the "limelight". The amount of oxygen produced by plants is tiny compared with atmospheric quantities of oxygen, so, some argue the role of plants in our oxygen supply is not significant. The oceans produce far more oxygen than trees, another good comparative observation. Additionally, plant respiration uses oxygen, similar to animal respiration. Older trees and older forests may actually be net users of oxygen, not net producers. It is important to place emphasis on the major role of photosynthesis . . . sugar production, not oxygen production. A direct relationship between oxygen production of just trees and the air we breathe is difficult to establish.
Teacher Guide Link Also see PLT "Air Plants"
Note: Many of the activities on this website reference Project Learning Tree (PLT) activities. PLT has copyrights on these activities but has granted permission to provide outlines to render a general ideas of what each activity covers. There are two PLT activity books, one for Pre K-8 and another for high school (recent revisions). There are also a number of special modules available through PLT in 2004. For more information about PLT, visit the national website at www.plt.org and the Michigan PLT website at www.michiganplt.org.
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