Fifth Grade Science Newsletter

Mrs. Roberson's Class

What is happening this month?

We are studying:
  • plant pigments
  • photosynthesis
  • cellular respiration


We will answer the following questions:

  1. How do the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration affect the products?
  2. How is plant life sustained?


Investigations, Experiments, and Activities:

  • Thin Layer Chromatography
  • Cellular Respiration in Seeds
  • Photosynthesis Group Project

Project Overview

Thin Layer Chromatography

Students will work in cooperative groups to separate plant pigments using thin layer chromatography.


Flowers Used: red and orange carnations, roses, geraniums, zinnias


Materials Used: sand, mortar and pestle, melting point capillaries, 1 cm X 8 cm silica plates, 25 mL and 250 mL graduated cylinders, pipets, stirring rods, vials, jars, goggles, pens


This experiment will be used to answer the following questions:


  1. What was the effect of the solvent solution have on the spot?
  2. How did the observed pigment differ from the actual color of the flower?

Cellular Respiration in Seeds

Student Role: You are scientists/researchers who will investigate the effect of temperature on plant life. The cooperative extension service has asked you to determine the conditions needed for the best yields of crops. You will work in groups/teams to complete this assignment.


Purpose of the procedure: to produce an indicator of respiration rate that can be compared across different treatments


Preparation: You will need to collect a variety of seed types. You will need to wet some of the seeds the day prior to beginning the experiment. You will also need to develop a hypothesis related to cellular respiration of seeds based on the information you have learned thus far and develop a design/plan for what seeds will be used and what temperatures will be tested prior to the day of the experiment.


The experiment will be conducted on the first day. The measurements will be taken in class the next day. The next two days will be used to create representations of your group’s data and write your reports. Instructions for the report will be given in class.

Photosynthesis Group Project

You will draw pictures of the process of photosynthesis occurring in plants so that you can visualize the process and connect the information with the pictorial representation of the process. The photosynthesis pictures will be drawn on large posterboard and displayed in the classroom.


You will choose a type of plant or algae and draw the process of photosynthesis as it occurs in the plant or algae type chosen. This will be done in cooperative groups of three to four. One or two of you will draw, one person will write an explanation of the way the process occurs in the group’s plant/algae on the poster, and one person will describe the characteristics of the plant or algae group as they relate to photosynthesis.

Learn More: Follow These Links

Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)

Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration Infographic

Search Google Scholar

Learn more about plant pigments, cellular respiration, and photosynthesis. Search this website.