Thirsty Plants in Arid Placesby: Linda Schaffer and Karla V. Kingsley

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In order to demonstrate how plants remove water from the soil and release it to the atmosphere, students compared open- and closed-growing systems using drought-tolerant and higher water requirement plants. Then, students designed a drought-tolerant garden demonstrating what they had learned. Through this experience, students not only learned about evaporation and transpiration in a concrete way, but they also learned about their own local ecosystem and factors affecting it.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:15 PM

Students in an elementary school in New Mexico explore the concept of transpiration. Students explored the community concerns about drought and water conservation including xeriscaping and drought tolerant plants. They also looked at the newspapers to record daily rainfall and changes in groundwater levels. The balance of the article describes the classroom activity students performed to measure water loss to different plants. Students used this information to design a ‘water-wise’ garden. This is a great way to engage students in science and community needs.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:46 AM

Great set of activities designed to teach how desert plants are adapted to their environment. Although your school may not be located in an arid climate, you will be able to utilize the inquiry-based transpiration activity and incorporate the native garden challenge. The concrete approach enables students to easily visualize and understand transpiration and its resulting effects on plants and ecosystems. Great activity that ties into climate, ecosystems, native/invasive species, adaptations, plants, and/or water conservation

Patricia  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia (Pottstown, PA)

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