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Plant Adventures    Mystery 3

Mystery 3 image

In this Mystery, students will learn the importance to sunlight to plants, which is collected by their leaves. Knowing how plants respond to sunlight, they will build creative Grass Heads. This mystery requires two class periods.

Why do trees grow so tall?

Beginning Exploration (1 of 11)
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Beginning Exploration (2 of 11)

Predict:

After 2 weeks, what do you think will have happened to the plant in the dark compared to the plant in the light?

Turn to someone next to you. Tell them your prediction and your reason why.

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Beginning Exploration (3 of 11)
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Beginning Exploration (4 of 11)

Discuss: Why might the plant in the dark have grown taller? Look closely at the plants to see if there are any clues.

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Beginning Exploration (5 of 11)
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Beginning Exploration (6 of 11)

Discuss:

Why do you think the leaves are moving?

plantsmoving

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Beginning Exploration (7 of 11)
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Beginning Exploration (8 of 11)

Discuss:

How can a tree get more sunlight when a lot of other trees are starting to get in its way?

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Beginning Exploration (9 of 11)
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Beginning Exploration (10 of 11)

Discuss:

So now if someone asked you, "Why do trees grow so tall?", how would you explain it to them?

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Beginning Exploration (11 of 11)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Activity: Grass Head (old)
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Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the reading and extension activity in the optional extras.

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Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration which you just completed.
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Extra Activity:

How to Train a Bean Plant

In this Mystery, we showed photos of a bean plant that we grew here at Mystery Science. We planted the bean in a cardboard box with a hole in it. The bean grew toward the light, snaking its way toward the hole to escape the dark box.

You can duplicate this experiment in your classroom. Just follow these detailed instructions on the website of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

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Time Lapse Video:

A Year in the Forest

In less than three minutes, this amazing video shows your students how a forest changes over the course of a year. This can be used as an interactive classroom exercise in observation. Ask students to raise their hands when they know what season it is in the forest. Stop the video when enough hands are up, then ask students to explain what clues tell them the season.

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