The following activity can be found in the Second Grade Flowering Plants module from NICERC’s STEAM Fundamentals second grade curriculum.
Sometimes a concept of lesson can be difficult for students to visualize or relate to. Simple, hands-on activities can help bridge the gap between life experiences and the hypothetical. Students do not have to picture an example in their minds since they are creating one themselves. The activity below demonstrates how absorption works. At this point in the Second Grade Flower Plants module, students are learning about plant roots and how they absorb water and nutrients from the soil. The coffee filter will absorb water that is gently sprayed on it while the marker ink illustrates how minerals and nutrients are carried with the water as it is absorbed into the roots of plants.
Absorption by the filter’s fibers allows the water to travel throughout the filter. As it moves, it carries the ink from the markers with it. The colors will merge and divide into unique and interesting designs. By carefully observing the water traveling though the coffee filter, students get an idea of how plant roots function and bring water and nutrients from the soil to the other parts of the plant.
On top of being able to visualize the movement of nutrients with water, your students will have a beautiful piece of art!