Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22: First day of Autumn

image from betterbudgeting.com

For the first day of autumn, try out this activity to help understand why leaves change colors.


Chlorophyll and Autumn Colors

Materials:

  • Plant (geraniums work well for this)
  • Black paper
  • Paper clip or tape
  • Alcohol

Directions:

  1. Cover half of a leaf (still attached to the plant) with black paper.
  2. Put the plant in sunlight for 48 hours.
  3. Remove the black paper and one half of the leaf should be yellowish.
  4. Chlorophyll, which is what makes a plant green, will break down if it does not receive sunlight for an extended period of time. The base color of many leaves is yellow, which is why some leaves turn yellow in the autumn; the other fall colors are due to chemical changes within the leaves.
  5. Remove the leaf from the plant and soak it in warm alcohol until the chlorophyll has been removed from it. If the leaf is now dipped in iodine solution, the part that has received sunlight will turn blue, as iodine turns blue in the presence of starch.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s nature card set (activity E11). Adapted from bizarrelabs.com. Also try activity F8 from the Toolbox Training book 100 Music Activities for Kids.


Check out the full September calendar to see the month at a glance as well as floating holidays, specialty weeks, and themes for the month.

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