In this lesson you will learn how plants make food.
All living things need energy to survive.
A plant gets this energy from light especially sunlight.
Light is a form of energy that plants use to make their food.
The food-making process that uses sunlight is called photosynthesis.
Sunlight strikes the green part of a plant such as a leaf.
The leaf contains a green chemical called chlorophyll which helps the plant make its food.
Inside the leaf water and carbon dioxide from the air combine to make sugar and oxygen.
This reaction could not take place without the help of light energy.
The sugar produced by the Suns energy goes to all parts of the plant.
The oxygen produced by the plant goes into the air.
Animals must breathe oxygen to stay alive.
At the same time animals breathe out carbon dioxide which plants need.
6 Changing Leaves
Leaves of all plants except evergreens appear to change color in the fall.
Actually all the yellows and oranges you see in fall have been present in the leaves since summer.
However you could not see them because of the large amount of green chlorophyll inside the leaves.
As the temperature begins to drop the leaves of trees other than evergreens stop making chlorophyll.
Slowly the chlorophyll that remains begins to break down and vanish.
Now you can see the yellow and orange colors.
If the weather is especially cool and the sky is clear most of the time the color red will appear in leaves.
This extra color was not in the leaves to begin withit is made only by leaves in places where the climate is cool and clear.
A plant must efficiently move water from its roots to all its parts.
The cells of every part of a plant need water to carry out vital chemical reactions including photosynthesis.
Water also helps plants stay firm.
Plants constantly lose water through transpiration.
8 The Importance of Plants
Whether you know it or not you have probably eaten all parts of a plant roots stems leaves seeds fruit and even bark and sap.
Plants are the food and oxygen producers. They provide the food we eat and the oxygen we breathe.
Plants and animals need each other in order to survive.
Animals need the food and oxygen plants make during photosynthesis.
Plants need the carbon dioxide animals give off when they breathe out.
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