Photosynthesis: what are chloroplasts?


In this resource, part of the ‘Photosynthesis – A Survival Guide’ scheme for 11-14 pupils, students investigate chloroplasts and starch production, focusing on the learning objective “Light energy is absorbed by the green pigment in chloroplasts”.

Light energy is trapped by chlorophyll; a green pigment found in small organelles called chloroplasts. Parts of a plant that contain these chloroplasts can carry out photosynthesis because they can absorb the light energy for the reaction.

Students observe chloroplasts directly under the microscope using a plant such as Elodea pondweed.

Following this they take a thin section of potato tissue and stain it to show starch grains.

Students then use their knowledge to hypothesise how variegated leaves might affect a plant’s growth.

The resource includes teaching and technical notes, a Powerpoint presentation and a students’ worksheet.

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