Science 101: How do plants move?by: William C. Robertson, Ph.D.

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Just as with any organism, simple growth causes plants to move, but we’re going to focus on movements that are unique to plants and, in some cases, pretty creepy. Sorry for the pun. Here the author describes a bunch of plant movements and then explains the mechanism for a few of them.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (3)
  • on Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:05 PM

This is a great article to introduce tropisms, especially the influence of light and gravity on plant growth direction. The diagrams are really good and help to explain. The article also presents a little experiment that students can reproduce to prove how light can influence plant growth direction.

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

  • on Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:33 PM

Robertson ("Stop Faking It" series) explains the science behind our plants that move and twist as they grown. Excellent accompanying illustrations. A classroom of K-8 botanists would easily be able to conduct separate small group investigations with the assortment of variables that are explained.

Alyce D  (Peyton, CO)
Alyce D (Peyton, CO)

  • on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:48 PM

This article does a nice job explaining how and why plants exhibit movement such as thigmotropism and phototropism. If you need to brush up on basic botany prior to growing plants in class, this is a good place to start. Reading this article may stimulate you to develop inquiry experiments for plants. It does not, however, contain any ideas for growing plants in the classroom.

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

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