Understanding Leaves and Photosynthesis




Yo, yo my name is Chef Chloroplast.  I am going to teach you about photosynthesis.  Photosynthesis is how a leaf makes its food.  The word photo means light and the word synthesis means put together.


Did you know there is a kitchen in a leaf?   The kitchen is cooking up chemical reactions.   Sorry, not cupcakes.   I do love cupcakes though, don’t you? 


Photosynthesis has lots of ingredients they are:



Now all of you who can read a recipe ......  you will be a natural at the photosynthesis process because it is like a plant version of a cook book.  



In the kitchen where Chef Chloroplast works, when sunlight, chlorophyll, water, minerals, and carbon dioxide mix together, BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!   That was a chemical reaction.  Plant food or glucose was made.  Now the plant can have its own food festival.


Green plants can do so many things you can’t, they can make their own food.  Also, did you know when you breathe out carbon dioxide the plants take it in through their leaves?  They use it to make food, and give you oxygen that they breathe out.


I hope you learned a lot about photosynthesis.  Remember there is a kitchen in any green part of a plant.  The green is the chlorophyll the ingredient in making plant food.



"Understanding The Leaf" 


Howdy, I am going to teach you how a leaf is structured.  OK?  I will explain some of the leaf's parts and what they do.  So are you ready for adventure?   5,4,3,2,1, let's GO!


Leaves are made up of lots of different layers just like the skin on a person.   A waxy surface called the cuticle acts like a rain jacket on the outside of the leaf to protect it from wilting or drying out.  This layer is transparent (crystal clear).  Under the cuticle is the epidermis which is just like another layer of skin for the leaf.


The epidermis is a single layer of cells that protects both the upper and lower parts of a leaf.  This layer has many jobs.  Small pores in this layer allow, carbon dioxide, water, and oxygen to enter and exit the plant.  These pores are called stomata.  They are protected by guard cells that open and close the pores.   All these parts and more help the plant keep its homeostasis or balance so it can keep making food for the plant.


The next layers are two types of mesophyll.  Palisade mesophyll is like the fat under your skin.  It is where one of the most important parts of the leaf are located - the chloroplasts!  This is like the leaf's kitchen.  All the food is getting made and stored here.  The cells are packed tightly in this layer.  The spongy mesophyll are loosely packed.  In this layer there are lots of spaces for carbon dioxide and oxygen to move around.  You can also find the phloem and xylem here.  They are like veins.  They move nutrients and water through the plant.  The lower epidermis has the guard cells and stoma inside of it.  The stoma are pores that let in carbon dioxide and oxygen exit from the leaf.  The guard cells are tissues that open and close the pores.  There is another layer of cuticle of the bottom, which does just the same thing as the upper cuticle.  


So now you know how the leaf is structured.  The leaf is so awesome!  If you want use the interactive link below to match the names of the parts of a leaf to a diagram of the leaf.




So now you know you all about leaves and photosynthesis.  Go tell your friends! 




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