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Tags: Class Ideas, All-Seasons, Outdoor, Indoor,  3rd, 4th, 5th, Fall, Anytime, photosynthesis, leaves, plants

Objective: To illustrate the process of photosynthesis

Time : 25 mins 

Author: Junior Master Gardener Teacher/Leader Guide, Texas A&M University


Greeting and ReviewMeet in your regular spot
Review last week’s lesson
Main Lesson Photosynthesis
Activity 1 Photosynthesis  
Materials Needed: photosynthesis handout, blue, green, yellow and gray crayons or colored pencils, real leaves for observation
Activity 2Garden Work 
Materials Needed: watering cans, brooms, rakes
Cleanup Put away all materials
GoodbyeAsk gardeners, “What is one thing plants need to make their own food?”
External ReferencesNone
WorksheetsPhotosynthesis handout.pdf

It is a good idea to split the class into smaller groups and rotate activities but not necessary.

ACTIVITY 1: In the classroom or outside on the tables

  1. On each table have different leaves for the gardeners to observe. Ask:
    • What do you do when you are hungry? (find something to eat, make something)
    • What do animals do when they are hungry? (look for food)
    • Has anyone ever followed a recipe before? 
    • What are some of the things you will find in a recipe? (ingredients, steps, etc)
  2. Explain that plants are the only living things that don’t need to find food to eat. Plants can make their own food within the leaves.  A process called photosynthesis. Everyone, say photosynthesis. 
  3. Explain that we change our food into things we can eat by mixing, using stovetops and ovens.  Plants use sunlight to change their ingredients into food that they can use.  Plants use three ingredients to make food: CHLOROPHYLL,  WATER, and CARBON DIOXIDE.
  4. Distribute leaf handout and colored pencils/crayons.
    • Explain that the green in the leaves comes from chlorophyll.  Have them lightly color the leaf green.  
    • Remind them that the roots bring water to the plant from the ground. The water is carried to the leaves through the stems and veins. Have the gardeners color the stem and veins of the leaf blue.  Look at the different leaves on the tables and see and feel the veins.
    • Next, have the students take a deep breath, explain when they breathe out, they are breathing out CARBON DIOXIDE – the last ingredient plants use to make their own food.  Have them color the bubbles of carbon dioxide gray. 
    • What do plants need to change their ingredients into food? Sunlight  – the leaves soak up the sunlight, they should color sunlight arrows yellow.

Encourage students to raise their hand and ask questions if they are unsure about something.

ACTIVITY 2 : Work in the garden

  1. Water plants
  2. Weed
  3. Sweep and tidy up the garden
  4. Organize shed
  5. Turn compost


  • Ask gardeners, “What is one thing plants need to make their own food?”


 Junior Master Gardener Handbook, Texas A&M University

Worksheet Links

Photosynthesis handout.pdf

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