Forums / Early Childhood / photosyntesis

Early Childhood


Author Post
Diana Hernandez diana hernandez 270 Points

How can I explain photosyntesis to little kids?

Anne Lowry Anne Lowry 6915 Points

Hi Dawn


So much depends on the age and background knowledge of the kids.  Also important is what exactly you want them to know.  Are you going for a general "make food from the sun" or a very specific understanding of how the sugars are produced.  The latter would probabaly not be developmentally appropriate (I say probabaly, becuuase there are always exceptions, but they are rare).  However, you can always start building knowledge about the effects of the sun via sunbleaching construction paper, paper circles of different colors paperclipped onto leaves for a few days.  The difference in the leaf color always starts questions.

You can build background knowledges of how the sun energy changes matter in many ways.  Keeping with plants and leaves, you can do it with sun tea; one in full sun, one in the dark such as a closet.

You can begin to explore plant respiration by putting bags over leaves (just a couple) and watch the moisture inside build.    For reference, you can tie a similar bag to a stick nearby so the students see the different between the bag with a leaf and a bag with nothing.

Hope this helps!



Madison Taylor Madison Taylor 935 Points

From my experience with little kids, they often learn best through watching videos or learning songs. Magic School Bus or Bill Nye I'm sure have wonderful videos on photosynthesis that are easy to digest for little kids. Youtube is where I go to for songs, and I guarantee that there are photosynthesis songs or easy to understand videos for the kids to watch.

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers