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Developing Inquiring Minds: Students use chromatography to separate the colors in fall leaves

by: Hedy Moscovici and Christine Carty

In this scientific inquiry experience, students brainstormed observations of the autumn trees, noticing the patterns in certain trees and which parts of the trees turned color first. These observations led to questions such as “Where were the red and yellow colors before autumn?” “Were the colors in the leaves during the summer or were these colors produced only in autumn?” and “What happened to the green?” Using the interest questions as a springboard, the class decided to investigate autumn leaf color. This article describes how they conducted experiments to develop their understanding about pigment formation and function in leaves.


Elementary School


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 9/1/1999Stock # sc99_037_01_38Volume 037Issue 01

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