|Posted by Josie on September 23, 2020 at 6:00 PM|
Madison and I started our celery osmosis experiment today!
Safe to say, this kid loves science. First, we made a time-lapse video with one of our house plants that I had clearly neglected to water for quite some time... let's just pretend I did that purposefully. You know, in the name of science. Surely, it had nothing to do with the fact that I just simply didn't notice how thirsty it was getting until it was literally flopping over onto the floor... But anyway, we turned it into a learning experience.
Madison did the actual watering, and I took that time as an opportunity to explain how we always water the ground around the plant, not the plant itself, because water needs to get down to the roots in order for osmosis to take place. The water will then travel from the roots all the way to the top of the plant. Madison surely didn't believe me:
Madison: Mom. The DIRT doesn't need water. The plant DOES. I'll water the leaves.
Me: The water needs to reach the roots, and once it does osmosis will start. The roots will absorb the water and then it'll travel up and bring this guy back to life!
Madison: We don't even know if he HAS roots!
Me: Every plant has roots. If it didn't have roots it would fall right over. The roots are like the plant's feet and legs, it helps hold the rest of the plant up.
Madison: Fine. But if it doesn't work, we'll do it my way AND you'll owe me a Starburst.
Fortunately for me, it worked. After a couple hours, the water had brought our plant back to life. Standing tall and proud! Madison reluctantly agreed that the plant must have roots, but I gave her a Starburst nonetheless.
Check out the celery osmosis page to see the time-lapse video. Such a great way to help a child actually SEE how the plant changes as it absorbs the water.
After reviving our house plant, we discussed the scientific method and how scientists ask questions and perform experiments to answer those questions. Knowing we would be doing the celery osmosis experiment, I asked her what she thought might happen if a plant absorbed colored water. Would we be able to see the water as it travelled through the plant? After much deliberation, she had decided NO WAY. Impossible. She kept going back to our houseplant and saying she could only see the outside of the stems and leaves so there was no real way of seeing the water INSIDE. That's when I brought out the celery. Translucent skin that you can practically see through! Now she was hooked. Maybe we WOULD be able to see the water after all?? We discussed again, and then decided we should just do an experiment to test it out.
Before setting everything up, we came up with the question: "What will happen if we put celery in cups of colored water?" Then I wrote the question on a white board while she copied it in her packet, which is available in PDF on the celery osmosis page. Any time we have an opportunity to practice writing, we do it. Madison isn't the sit down and memorize kind of kid. She's much more likely to retain information if she gets elbow deep in it. So that's what we do. At this point, we are practicing capital letters, punctuation, and spacing. Spacing has been the trickiest part for her because she doesn't understand separation between words, all she sees are letters. We're introducing the concept of words simply by using spaces. After each word she writes, she puts her fingertip down to give herself an adequate space before writing the next word. This is helping remind her that words are made up of groups of letters, and sentences are made up of groups of words. Baby steps!
After writing down our question, we talked about predictions. When introducing new words, I make a point to use lots of synonyms to help expand her vocabulary and improve her comprehension by introducing her a wider assortment of words. After coming up with a prediction and writing it down together, we got started with the actual experiment. Her favorite part by far was putting the food coloring in the water. We made sure to put a lot in each cup of water to get a nice, dark result. If it's too light, it may not provide the "wow" factor we're looking for. If some is good, more is better, right? (Well, not always, but you get the idea!) Add that food coloring! And plenty of it!
Here's some pictures from Day 1 of our experiment:
Categories: September 2020