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Michael and I are doing a Fall/Autumn unit study this month and we conducted an experiment on the colors of leaves.
Materials we are using:
Coffee filer strips or cut strips of copy paper, popsicle stick or coin, small baby food jar (or paper cup), rubbing alcohol, leaf.
Using one-inch coffee filter strips, we positioned a leaf horizontally across the strip about two inches from bottom. Using a popsicle stick or coin, Michael gently rubbed his leaf to transfer some of its pigments onto his strip. Pour rubbing alcohol into a jar so that is is about one inch deep; then he inserts his strip into the jar. We left strip in jar for about 30 minutes; removed and allow to dry.
Background Information on
What we learned about the pigments of a leaf:
We learned the names of leaf pigments.
The green pigment is chlorophyll.
The yellow and orange pigment is carotenoid.
The red pigment is anthocyanin.
The brown pigment is tanin
What we observed:
A green spot and yellow streak formed on the strip. Leaves contain several color pigments. As alcohol moved up the strip, it dissolved and separated the green and yellow pigments.
When we look at a leaf, we see the green pigment, chlorophyll, because there is more of it. Other color pigments are present too, but they are masked by the chorophyll. In the fall a leaf stops producing chlorophyll and we can see its other pigments.