Words you need to know:
Photosynthesis
Transpiration
Cholorophyll
Producer
Consumer
Ecosystem
Herbivore
Carnivore
Food Chain
Decomposer
Food Web
Journey of Photosynthesis Video

Photosynthesis Song

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Leaves are nature's food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Oxygen is a gas in the air that we need to breathe. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing. The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis. That means "putting together with light." A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees "know" to begin getting ready for winter.
During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis helps leaves produce food. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can't see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.
autumn leaves scene
autumn leaves scene
The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color. The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves.
It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors we enjoy each year

  • Photosynthesis is the ultimate source of life for all plants and animals.
  • Glucose formed through photosynthesis is the basic energy source for all living organisms.
  • The oxygen released as byproduct of photosynthesis provides most of the atmospheric oxygen, which is a vital part of all animals. In turn, animals produce carbon dioxide through respiration which is used by plants in the process of photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis

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