How Desert Plants Gather Water

Science, Language Arts

Grade Level: Third - March
Teacher of Lesson: Stacey Perri
Approximate Time: 25 minutes


Objectives: Materials:


  1. Review the hot desert conditions, and brainstorm ways in which desert plants could obtain water. Ask the students to take out their journals.
  2. Give each group a pan with sand in it.
  3. Have each group pour one-fourth to one-half cup water evenly over the surface of the sand. Ask students to predict where the water will settle as it soaks in.
  4. Ask the students where the most water in the pan is, and to find that place.
  5. Ask the students how plants could get the water that is present deeper in the ground.
  6. Discuss the importance of roots in desert plants.
  7. Show the students page 19 in Eyewitness Desert, showing the roots of a cactus, and the cross-section of a cactus.
  8. Ask the students to think of other ways a desert plant might obtain water. (long roots, spread roots to collect water when it rains, absorb dew through leaves) How might they keep this water? (reducing leaf size and losing leaves in time of drought, storing in stem as barrel cactus does are possible answers).
  9. Ask the students to respond to the lesson in their journals.


The teacher will ask: Re-Teaching Strategies and Follow-Up:
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