Lesson 4: Photosynthesis

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How are plants dependent on the environment?
  • How are plants and animals interdependent?

Facts and Definitions

  • Photosynthesis is the process by which a plant makes its own food.


  • Observe and measure how the quantities and qualities of nutrients, light, and water in the environment affect plant growth. (S)
  • Observe and describe how environmental conditions determine how plants survive and grow in a particular environment. (S)
  • Identify and describe the process of photosynthesis. (S)


  • colored pencils or markers* (Activity 1 - Option 2)
  • construction paper (kit)
  • glue
  • grass seed (kit)
  • piece of cardboard
  • potting soil (kit)
  • science journal
  • scissors
  • shallow pan

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed


Ask your child what animals need in order to live and grow and how plants are different from animals. Next, ask what plants need to grow. Your child will know that plants need sun and water to grow. Ask your child if she knows why plants need sun and water. Then ask how plants get food if they are not able to move like animals can. Explain to your child that plants are able to make their own food, unlike people, animals, and insects that find food and eat it.