Students go inside a leaf to look at a photosynthesis process. They learn
about the process through reading, demonstrations, experiments, and a
board game. They continue their study of chlorophyll by making a printed
fabric. As a conclusion, they go inside a plant cell and make a three-dimensional
model of some of the plant cells parts.
activities in this and other sections suggest Web sites for you or
your students. We hope you will find them rewarding additions to your
study of plants. However, Web sites move or sometimes disappear altogether.
If you cannot arrive at any of these suggested sites, use your preferred
search engine to locate alternates. As with all work using the World
Wide Web, please monitor your students research.
To understand the varied growing conditions needed by different plants.
To learn indigenous plants names and characteristics.
Science: A. 1, 2, 9, 10, 14; B. 1; D. 1
World Languages: B. 1
for a Healthy life: B. 1, 3
To use problem-solving skills in planning experiments and using the
Science: A. 9, 10; B. 1, 2, 3, 5; C
English: C; D
Mathematics: A. 2, 3, 6; C. 1; E. 2, 3
Technology: A. 1, 2, 3; B.1, 2
To understand local cultural heritage and stewardship for the environment.
English: A; B. 2, 3; C; D. 2, 3; E
Cultural: A. 3, 4, 5, 6; B. 1, 2; C. 1, 3; D. 1, 3, 4; E. 1, 2
History: B. 1
Arts: A. 3; B. 8
nail polish (optional)
Leaf Food Factory Game
pieces, one per student. Recommendations include coins, rings, nuts,
small pebbles, small bottle caps. Students may provide their own. Each
player at a game board should have a different playing piece.
and units of sunlight:
may wish to use the paper*
versions supplied (Appendix). As an alternate, consider substituting
multi-colored or multi-shaped food such as cereal or candywrapped
or unwrapped (M&Ms, Skittles, Star-bursts). You
will need 4 different color or shape combinations to provide for every
4 students this amount of atoms and units of sunlight:
30 for C, Carbon
57-60 for H, hydrogen
94-100 for O, Oxygen
48-50 for units of sunlight
you use M&Ms, you will need one 10 ounce (283.5 g.) package
for every 3 students. Use the brown M&Ms for the oxygen,
yellow for the sun, red for carbon and blue for hydrogen. Students
will discover after they make the simple sugar formula that there
are many O leftover. These are the oxygen by-products
of the photosynthesis process. You may wish to allow students to
eat them as a reward! Or you may wish to offer the unused colors
for the rewards.
small containers to hold 50 to 100 atoms each and units
of sunlight (approximately fist-sized or larger depending on your choice
of materials for atom and units of sunlight ) labeled:
air resources box
water resources box
towel or napkins for each student (optional)
baggies for mittens to help keep hand bugs away
from ingredients (optional)
(optional). Suggestions include fruit, or M&Ms or other candy;
Hammered leaf print:
fabric or unbleached muslin. You can select small pieces to produce
as samples. Larger projects are also possible such as t-shirts, table
cloths, or napkins. Any 100% cotton
fabric can be used. Perhaps a class-finished project of napkins or a
handkerchief as a thank you for an Elder or expert is the appropriate
final product. You might also wish to produce a textile sample to include
with the Class Herbarium or as a cover for the herbarium collection.
soap such as ivory
hammer (1 for every 4-6 students)
of masking tape
increase or decrease water amount in the recipes shown below depending
on the amount of fabric used.
sulfate, alum, and/ or wood ashes (these are called mordants in the
natural dye process) Increase or decrease the amounts in the recipes
depending on the amount of fabric used.
baking soda, or washing soda (sodium carbonate)
goggles or safety glasses (for each student who measures and stirs chemicals)
fresh and in excellent condition. Include collections from the wild
or from garden or house plants such as carrots, marigolds, or ivy. Thin,
flat leaves will transfer color better than thick juicy ones.
materials as described in activity web sites
People traditionally hear about values many times during their lives.
Whether they embrace them as their own depends on many factors, especially
whether they are ready. Storytellers in Unangan/Unangas villages
would watch the community carefully for signs of readiness for such a
lesson. When they would sense that lessons should be brought up, they
would tell a specific story woven with the lesson. Those who would learn
the lessons would begin to memorize the stories and imagine how they might
fit into the role of the storyteller later on.
The concept of balance having importance is a value for which your community
of students may be ready. There is no right length or sequence for this
discussion. However, It is important to have the discussion and explore
what individuals are ready to express. The concept will be repeated many
times during this study, the year, the lives of the young people with
The Unangam values statement about balance provides a springboard
for an exploration of a number of subjects including ethics in science
or life. Some introductory questions are included here:
What does it mean to eat a balanced diet?
If someone is interested in and pursues only one thing, can they have
a balanced lifestyle?
Use the word balance in a sentence. Now, can someone else use it another
Why should there be balance in the world?
What are some synonyms of balance? Antonyms?
What does excess mean?
What is a paucity?
What is the meaning of the word balance?
Describe what you think would be a good balance of activities for yourself?
ACTIVITY ONE. Students conduct experiments or prepare demonstrations about
photosynthesis using text and Web resources. You can find questions and
answers about photosynthesis at this web site:
Estimated duration: 30-40 minutes to begin; follow-up times will vary.
ACTIVITY TWO. Students play a photosynthesis game The Leaf Food
Factory (see game pages in Appendix)
duration: 40-60 minutes
Copy the game board, atoms, units of sunlight, and challenge cards to
make enough sets for each group of 4 students. (A set for 4 students
is included in the Appendix.) If you are using the game as a learning
station for fewer than the whole class, copy and laminate a set for
each station. Laminate the atoms, units of sunlight, and challenge cards
and cut them apart. Glue the pages of the game board together. Cut out
the leaf shape of the game board. Laminate the game board. Collect 3
small boxes and label them.
air resources box
If you use m&ms as the atoms and units of sunlight, make sure
students wash their hands before playing. You may prefer to have students
use plastic bag mittens when handling unwrapped foods. Also,
remind students that the refined sugars in candy or cereals are similar
to, but not identical to, the simple sugars that plants make through
photosynthesis. You may want to assign a student to research some of
the different kinds of sugars and report to the class on nutritional
Depending on the level of your class, you may wish to adjust some of
the playing requirements. For example, students can begin the play with
4 sets of molecules instead of 3 sets of molecules.
Decide if you want to offer awards to the students as they finish. Suggestions
include a fruit piece, or an M&M or other candy; a certificate;
ACTIVITY THREE. Students show leaf chlorophyll on a fabric by making a
hammered leaf print.
Estimated duration: set-up 20-30 minutes; completion 20-30 minutes plus
Students should try a small sample to get the feel of hammering the
leaf so that they keep the pattern and shape of the leaf while transferring
the color to the fabric.
A note about the chemicals you will use: although relatively safe, these
and all chemicals should be used with adult supervision and with eye
protection. Remind students to measure carefully.
Ferrous sulfate is a chemical used in water purification, fertilizers,
pigments, photography and medicine. It is also called copperas, green
coperas, green vitriol, iron vitriol and iron sulfate. In traditional
times, the textile artist would not be able to go to the drugstore and
ask the pharmacist if this substance was sold there. Nor would s/he
have gone to the Web and contacted Carolina Chemical or a weaving/spinning
supplier for the materials. Sometimes the chemical was found as a bluish-green
crystal-like solid on the ground. Sometimes, especially after European
contact the fabric was heated in water in an old rusting iron kettle
whose surfaces would impart the final color fixing to the textile. You
may wish to test this iron kettle technique with your textiles as an
alternative to using the pure chemical.
Alum is also called aluminum potassium sulfate, potash alum, and potassium
alum. It is a colorless, odorless crystalline chemical used in medicine,
and in dyeing and tanning. Raw alum is an alkaline substance found naturally
in washes or areas of recent water evaporation. It is chemically different
than the alum you can buy in spice bottles at the grocery store.
To purchase mordant supplies, you may wish to contact a spinning and
dyeing source on the web.
If you decide to buy one or more of the mordant chemicals, you might
want to continue the plant dyeing process by gathering wild blossoms,
leaves, bark, or lichens and doing additional natural dyeing projects.
Some of the dye descriptions for Alaska plants can be also be found
in Schofields Discovering Wild Plants. (see index for specific
pages). Your local experts or Elders may also have suggestions about
appropriate natural dye materials. Natural dye colors vary from area
to area for any given plant, depending on the local growing conditions.
A plant that results in one color in Anchorage may give a different
result in Unalaska or St. Paul. Testing small samples is always a good
idea if you are looking for specific results.
Dye recipes are available in a number of books. See Resources
in the Appendix.
ACTIVITY FOUR. Students report on their place selected in
Section One for Pick a Place and report on its changes.
Estimated duration: 30 minutes for homework
ACTIVITY FIVE. Students examine and dissect a virtual cell on the Web
and make a 3-D plant cell model.
Estimated duration: 30-40 minutes in 2 sessions.
EXTENSIONS: See student pages.
Assessment opportunity: Student describes the photosynthesis process in
simple terms to the teacher or makes a simple sketch of the process.
Assessment Rubric, Section Four
of student: ___________________________________________
cooperatively with peers and gains insight from their activities.
respectful of values.
respectful of Elders.