User login

Do Plants Need Light?

Source Institutions


Add to listGo to activity
Do Plants Need Light?

In this food science activity, learners conduct an experiment that demonstrates the importance of light to plants. This 1-2 week activity allows learners to learn about the needs of plants and plant growth. This lesson guide includes background information, variation ideas, and bilingual (English/Spanish) handouts.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

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

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • 12 soaked bean seeds
  • 4 dry bean seeds
  • 4 hand lenses (magnifiers)
  • 4 peat pots (3-in. size), or disposable cups
  • 4 pieces of string or yarn (each approx. 6-in. in length)
  • 2 cups of moistened soil
  • Dispensing bottle (2-oz. size) or dropper
  • Metric ruler
  • Copies of student sheets


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Ecology
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Rate
    • Number and Operations
    • Problem Solving
    • Reasoning and Proof
    • Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

Includes assesments for student learning

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Moreno, Nancy P.; Tharp, Barbara Z.


  • All Rights Reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, ©2011

Funding Sources:

  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, R25 ES10698
  • National Center for Research Resources, R25 RR13454