Teacher Site Map
3rd Grade Science Core
USOE Science Home Page

Energy to Grow!

All living things use heat and light from the sun. Plants need sunlight to make food and grow. What will happen if plants don’t get enough light?
  • Three paper cups
  • One kind of seed to plant - choices include: beans, radishes, marigolds, alfalfa, or even grass.
  • Potting soil
  • A box
Start your plants to test.
  1. Fill each cup about 2/3 full of soil.
  2. Plant the same number seeds in each cup.
  3. Use the same amount of water to moisten the soil.
  4. Set your containers in the same place and water them the same amount until the plants have grown 3 - 5 cm tall.
  5. Draw and color what your plants look like.
Now begin testing the effect of light on your seedlings.
  1. Place one plant in full sunlight, one where it gets partial sunlight, and cover the last one with a box (so it is in the dark.)
  2. Keep the temperature and watering the same for all three plants.
  3. Observe your plants every day and draw the changes you see.
What did you find out?
You should notice that light affects a plant's growth. Without proper sunlight a plant can't make food. It will eventually die.

Download the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 3rd grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

Science Home Page | Curriculum Home Page | 3rd Grade Science Core Home Page | USOE Home Page

Copyright © Utah State Office of Education.