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Moisture Makers

Source Institutions

    Lawrence Hall of Science

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Moisture Makers

In this outdoor activity, learners compare the moisture released from different kinds of leaves and from different parts of the same leaf, by observing the color change of cobalt chloride paper. Learners consider how plants release water, what different kinds of leaves have in common, and whether a particular leaf's top or bottom side releases more water.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
4 to 24 hours

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • cobalt chloride crystals
  • table salt
  • water
  • mixing bowl
  • spoon
  • white typing paper
  • clothesline and clothespins
  • scissors
  • ziplock bags or other airtight containers
  • pencils
  • transparent tape
  • plastic lids or containers
  • Action Cards (page 5 and 6 of PDF)
  • index cards
  • watch
  • hand lenses (optional)
  • cobalt chloride paper (instead of making your own)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Evolution
      • Evidence for Evolution
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


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Access Rights:

  • Free access



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