Monday, June 12, 2017

Roots

I apologize for the gap in time since my last post.  We were out of town for ten days and are just now getting back into the swing of things.  Here is our latest science post.

Lesson 7 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany text is all about "Roots," including how they grow, the different root systems, and more.
 Like with every lesson in this text, we use the Junior Botany Notebooking Journal to record all that we learn.
We started reading first in our text about what roots do for a plant and for the landscape.  Did you know that roots prevent erosion?  We then looked at root hairs and how they are important for the plant.  We learned about transplant shock and root growth, as well as geotropism, the reason that roots know to grow downwards.  This is fascinating stuff!  God thought of everything!

We pulled out our Plant Adaptations science photo cards to get a look at what "Prop/Stilt Roots" look like.
 (Here is the card we were looking for.)  This plant, likely growing in loose or shallow soil, required extra support to remain upright.  Its prop or stilt roots provided that.  Neat!
The next day, we learned about the different root systems: taproot systems and fibrous root systems.  We also learned about geophytes (bulbs, rhizomes, corms, and tubers) and how rooting works.  We were learning, too, how important soil is for plants.

We read more about soil in our Usborne Starting Point Science (Volume 1) book, on page 39, entitled, "In the Soil."
From there, we read pages 18-19 of Usborne's Science with Plants, about the benefit of soil.
During lunch that day, we watched the "Dirt on Dirt" episode of Sid the Science Kid from their The Bug Club DVD, about the benefit of dirt.
You can watch that same episode on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hYsqs38rLw (below).
Mags was keeping track of all she was learning in her notebooking journal!
One of the geophytes we learned about was bulbs.  Examples of these are onions, garlic, and tulips.  We decided to check out the "Onion Epidermis" slide in our slides kit under our microscope.  (We were fascinated to learn from the text that every layer of a bulb is actually a kind of a leaf.  So this epidermis is actually a leaf of the onion.)
We could clearly see the cells that make up that leaf.  Cool!
After our microscope work, we illustrated a root in our notebooking journal and then headed outside to find some roots to classify.

We picked weeds so as not to uproot any important plants.
 We found this one had a fibrous root system!
 Pretty much every weed we pulled in our yard was fibrous.  We headed back indoors after about twenty pulls.
All of this went into our notebooking journal!
On the third day of this study, we did more notebooking work (like the "Match the Roots" activity on page 128), and then set up the "Taproots" project outlined on page 115 of our text.

Here are our taproots!  Carrot A and Carrot B!  We cut off the points on each before our next step.
 For Carrot A, we mixed 6 drops of blue food coloring into the water in this glass.
 We placed Carrot A in ...
 ... and set it on a sunny windowsill.  (Carrot B went back into the fridge.)
 After about thirty-six hours, we saw that Carrot A had pulled the blue coloring into itself, and started growing secondary roots.  (Carrot B in the fridge had done not too much of anything.)  This showed a root truly at work in the presence of water!  We recorded all of this in the notebooking journal (pages 129-130).
After recording our experiment, we completed the minibook for this lesson (A39) and added it to our journal (page 131).  These are so clever!  I love how this one pulls out from the bottom, where roots are located.
For one last project for our lesson on roots, we did the "Growing Both Ends" experiment out of our 501 Science Experiments book (#85).
For the same, we needed a small sweet potato, a glass of water, and toothpicks.  We placed our toothpicks into the potato, like you see below, and placed the potato into the water bath.
 We left it for two days before checking on it.
 What did we see after two days?  Tiny roots!
This was another fun lesson!  Next up?  We will learn about stems with Lesson 8.  Check back with us!

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