Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students
Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
2-4 students
Active Time
110 minutes
Total Time
7 days
Area of Science
Plant Biology
Key Concepts
Geotropism, signal transduction, gravity, plant growth
Learning Objectives
  • Explain why environmental factors such as gravity affect root growth in plants
  • Describe how plants respond to environmental inputs/stimuli based on experimental evidence
  • Understand that environmental inputs can be sensed and transmitted by plants to trigger a behavioral response
root growth overview lesson plan

Overview

How do plants know which way is up or down? How does this affect which direction their roots will grow? In this lesson plan, your students will investigate how changes in a plant's environment, like the direction of gravity, affect the shape of its growing roots over a period of several days.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students' own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms. Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant.
Cause and Effect. Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural systems.

Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.

Credits

Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies

Materials


materials for root growth lesson plan

Materials for teacher preparation and demonstration:

  • A variety of plant seeds
  • A growing plant

Materials per group of 2–4 students:

  • Plastic zip-lock sandwich bags (3)
  • Permanent pen (1) or a pen and tape
  • Paper towels (3 full sheets or 6 half sheets)
  • Water (0.25 cups)
  • Radish seeds (15)
  • Strong tape
  • Large cardboard box (1)

Reviews

|
Was this review helpful?
Be the first one to review this activity.
Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
2-4 students
Active Time
110 minutes
Total Time
7 days
Area of Science
Plant Biology
Key Concepts
Geotropism, signal transduction, gravity, plant growth
Learning Objectives
  • Explain why environmental factors such as gravity affect root growth in plants
  • Describe how plants respond to environmental inputs/stimuli based on experimental evidence
  • Understand that environmental inputs can be sensed and transmitted by plants to trigger a behavioral response

Class Materials