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Our Fall Leaf experiment

Forum: Homeschooling


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October 17th, 2006, 05:43 PM
Sandra314's Avatar Homeschooling Mom
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
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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.

Our Findings:
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.


Here is a link we found useful on why leaves turn color in the Fall season
Sandra. Wife to Timothy and Homeschool mom to Michael and Matthew

Married for 16+ years to the love of my life.
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October 17th, 2006, 07:07 PM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Wow, what a neat experiment! Can I copy it and post it up in the Ideas Subforum?
-- Lisa --
Wife to my best friend Troy, mom to Reilly and Declan

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October 18th, 2006, 08:32 AM
Jenneve's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,933
Wow, what a neat & fun idea! I may have to steal that and use it this week or next. Thanks!
Happy Homeschooling Mom to:
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October 19th, 2006, 10:30 PM
MissyPrincessEha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 11,318
That is GREAT!
"I am a midwife. It is not just what I do, it is what I am, and I grow in it."
-Ruth Cobb

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