Get up close with the photosynthesis process by painting with chlorophyll. This STEM chlorophyll science lesson will be memorable for all.
Learning with Nature
Taking kids out into nature is good for getting the wiggles out. It is also proven to improve physical and emotional health and allow them to retain information better.
There are many different things kids can do with nature while exploring and collecting additional nature items while on a nature walk gives the walking purpose.
Learning about the plant cycle is in most science curriculums, so it’s perfect for incorporating into your nature explorations.
But, even if you don’t follow a set curriculum or standards, the topic of plants will undoubtedly arise.
Bring the topic of photosynthesis to life with this hands-on chlorophyll science craft activity.
What is Chlorophyll?
The green color of leaves is the chlorophyll inside the leaves. Chlorophyll helps the plant to make its food through the process of photosynthesis.
When looking at a plant cell, chlorophyll is inside the chloroplast.
Items Needed for Chlorophyll Science Activity
-Leaves (collected from a nature walk or spinach from the store)
How to Paint with Chlorophyll
1. Go on a nature walk and collect leaves. You can also save the spinach from rotting in your fridge and use that instead!
2. Fold the white paper in half.
3. Put the leaves inside the paper. Spread out the leaves, so they are in a single layer.
4. Using the back of a metal spoon, push all over the top of the paper. You will see the paper starting to get wet and green.
5. Open the paper and look at the chlorophyll (the green marks) inside the paper.
6. Ball up the leaves and try drawing (“painting”) with the leaves.
7. Talk about the chlorophyll science activity. Brainstorm why the leaves needed to be crushed before the chlorophyll could be used.
Changes to Make
Give Fewer Instructions
When kids are given some materials and little to no instructions, they must think through different solutions to the problem.
Challenge them to get the chlorophyll out of the leaves. What a fun chlorophyll science activity!
This adaptation to the original directions will help to turn this chlorophyll science activity into a STEM activity and require the kids to brainstorm, try out a plan, revise the plan, and try again.
Add in Other Elements
Add markers, rocks, grass, flowers, etc., to create a collage using chlorophyll paint and other natural items.
Try to Paint on Different Surfaces
Does rubbing the leaves on rocks, grass, tree bark, or dirt work?
Use Different Leaves
Try this chlorophyll science activity with different kinds of leaves. See if certain types of leaves are easier to get chlorophyll out of.
Are there any connections between the types of leaves (texture, waxy coding, etc.)?
Same Method, Other Nature Items
Use the same method as this chlorophyll science activity but try it on flower petals, fruit, or anything else your little ones can think of.
Does the pigment come out of the other items as easily?
Painting with Nature
Spark some interest in leaves with this fun chlorophyll science activity. Whether doing a plant unit or exploring nature, the kids in your life will love painting with nature.