Plants use Photosynthesis to create food from sunlight and carbon dioxide. This reaction occurs because of the chlorophyll within plants, and is what gives them their green color. This experiment will answer twos question: Why are plants green? Why do plants need sunlight to remain green?

These are the materials needed to see how important sunlight is to leaves:

materials leaf

-Plant with broad leaves (may be inside or outside)

-Black construction paper

-Transparent material (such as a plastic bag)          




Cut a piece of black construction paper large enough to cover a broad leaf. HAVE AN ADULT HELP YOU!leaf before

Now wrap the construction paper around the leaf and use the tape to secure it.

leaf during

Wait at least a week before removing the construction paper from the leaf. When the experiment is finished compare your leaf to the other leaves on the plant. You should be able to see a distinct difference between the leaves.

leaf after

The leaf that had been under the cover of the construction paper should have begun to lose its green color and wilt. This is because the leaf is unable to continue to make food with out the help of sunlight. Below are another set of pictures using a very different plant then the one above. Plants grown without any light at all will be pale and spindly; botanists call these plants etiolated. You have probably seen similar etiolated plants when onions or potatoes sprout in your pantry or refrigerator.

leaf 2 before

leaf 2 during

leaf 2 after