Root Observations

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In this activity, learners will investigate and compare the root systems of plants. Explore how weed and edible plant roots differ, and take a closer look inside with the careful use of a knife! Activity includes step-by-step instructions and extension ideas. A Spanish version of the activity is also included.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 18

Resource Type:

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • Weeds with roots
  • Edible roots: carrot, beet, radish, onion, potato, or garlic. See if you can find some with the green tops still attached!
  • Knife (with adult supervision)
  • Optional: Magnifying glass



  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology

Informal Categories

  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


Access Rights:

  • Free access



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