Year 6 Science

science owl

This is an activity from the Science section of the What Your Year 6 Child Needs to Know resource book. To learn more about using Core Knowledge UK resource books, please visit the dedicated pages for teachers, parents, grandparents and home educators. Please sign up for the free Core Knowledge UK newsletter to receive updates about new resources and activities.

Plants and Photosynthesis

Animals like whales and dolphins and human beings have to eat food to keep their energy levels up. Plants, on the other hand, are able to make food from carbon dioxide and water, using sunlight energy.

All plants (as well as some types of prokaryotes and protists) contain chlorophyll [claw-roh-fill] a molecule that males some or all of their cells appear green. The word chlorophyll comes from two Greek words - chlor , meaning 'green', and phyllo , meaning 'leaf'. In fact, chlorophyll can be found in other green parts of a plant besides the leaves. Protists and prokaryotes containing chlorophyll have no leaves. But all of these organisms use chlorophyll t trap the energy they need to make food. The process they use to make food is called photosynthesis [foh-tohSin-thu-sis].

Photo means 'light'. Synthesis means 'putting together'. So photosynthesis means 'putting together with light'. Organisms that contain chlorophyll combine water and carbon dioxide using energy from sunlight. The end products of photosynthesis are sugars, which the organisms use for food, and oxygen gas.

This activity is adapted from pages 308-309 of What Your Year 6 Child Needs to Know, which will soon be available from our shop, here.