Exploring Roots

Exploring Roots

By Kristin Sterling

Let’s Look at Plants Series

Lerner, First Step, 2012

ISBN #ISBN-13: 978-0-7613-5781-0

Grades K-2


“I see roots. Roots are parts of plants.”

The last book  I wrote about on my blog about the topic of roots generated huge interest and became one of my most looked-at posts. I decided another book along that topic might be of interest as well.

Exploring Roots is a good way to introduce young readers to plant parts. The roots play a critical role in living plants and this book shows and provides a single sentence on each page explaining the purpose of roots. It covers many different ways roots help plants and a variety of differently shaped roots. Bright photos illustrate the text and show the concept to provide support for the beginning reader. The simplicity of this book is both informative and appealing to children learning to read and learn about science. Growing underground is a mystery because it can’t be seen, but this book helps kids understand the concept.

Activity 1

Root a sweet potato. Bring in a class sweet potato and a glass jar. Fill the jar with water and support the sweet potato with three toothpicks stuck in the sides so that it’s part way in the water and part way out. Observe the roots develop. Keep quantitative (numerical) data and when the leaves arrive, add them. Later, graph the progress of the growth in a line graph.

Alternatively, have each child prepare and observe his/her own sweet potato and keep data.

*A sweet potato is actually an underground stem. Here’s detailed information about plant parts.

This link will give more specific directions. It also says to root it in the dark. Mine always grew in the light.

This site provides lots more information about continuing to grow your sweet potato.

Activity 2

Try it both ways! Set up a hypothesis (question) and conduct the experiment. Use the scientific method. Here’s a form.

I’m also going to be a judge for the 2nd round of Cybils judging  in the MG/YA category. That should be a lot fun–reading some of the best nonfiction around! Nominate your favorite now.

 National Science Standards: growth and development; structure and function of living organisms

Book provided by Lerner.

Thanks for checking back. Roots are always fun!

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3 Responses to Exploring Roots

  1. Roberta says:

    Plant structures, including roots, are definitely part of our state science standards. Good find!

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