Plants are a vital part of life on Earth. They are so important for many reasons. Read about what plants do for us and think about how impossible life on Earth would be without them.
1) Create Food:
Plants make their own energy to grow and reproduce from sunlight. This is a process called photosynthesis. Because they make their own food, they are at the bottom of the food web supplying food and energy for all other life on Earth.
1) Provide Food:
Plants store extra sugars in their stems, roots, seeds or fruit. That energy is passed on to animals that eat them, including us. We are part of the food web when we eat plant parts like apples, carrots, rice or potatoes. Photosynthesis is the first step in the complex food web that connects all living things.
2) Provide Oxygen:
Plants need oxygen to live just like animals do, but they create more oxygen in the process of photosynthesis than they use. That extra oxygen is essential for life on Earth. Vast forests, grasslands and green phytoplankton (which are not classified as plants, but are important photosynthesizing organisms) are coating the oceans’ surface and all take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen during photosynthesis. This balances out all the other organisms on Earth which inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide in the breathing process.
3) Prevent Erosion:
Plants root in the soil and spread their greenery over the top of the soil as they grow. This helps keep soil in place – preventing erosion.
4) Provide Energy, Shelter, Clothing, Medicines
Trees, the longest living plants on Earth, are used to produce timber for building homes and other human infrastructure. They are also burned for heat and fuel, used to produce paper and woods products of all kinds, such as: books, toilet paper, boxes, bags, pencils, brooms, furniture, and many, many more. Cotton, linen and other plant matter is used in producing clothing that we wear every day. Plant extracts are also part of many important medicines.
Introductory Plant Activity:
Look around your house and see how many things have wood or other plant matter in them (don't forget your closet, food shelves and fridge).
See how long it takes to reach 100 items.
Plants are everywhere!
Assess plant jobs content comprehension with the Mutiple Choice Test.
Also find a short answer fill-in-the-blank included in the PDF below.
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Amsel, Sheri. "Plants - The Important Jobs They Do" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2020. October 24, 2020
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