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Y5’s Science topic for this half term, Changing State [all about solids, liquids and gases and how they can change] links to our previous topic of ‘Gases all around us.’ In our class we have this very exciting ‘project‘ and we are going to observe our terrarium over the next two weeks [or more] to see what is going to happen.

A terrarium is a closed environment and we can use it to illustrate how different natural processes are taking place, e.g. the water cycle, respiration of plants and photosynthesis [Y6 Science] The moisture in the air condenses on the glass walls, it returns to the soil and is absorbed by the plant’s roots.

Most people don’t realize how much water evaporates from plants each day. Although we may notice the higher humidity in the forest, it’s hard to imagine that 90-95% of the water a typical plant absorbs through its roots passes into the air as water vapor. The water evaporates through tiny pores on leaves called stomata. The stomata open during the day to allow carbon dioxide, needed for photosynthesis, to enter the leaf. The oxygen, produced by leaves, exits through the same stomata. Transpiration is the term that describes water evaporating from leaves.

Photosynthesis [Photo = Greek for “light” and synthesis = Greek for “putting together”] is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert the light energy captured from the sun into chemical energy that can be used to fuel the organism’s activities. Carbon dioxide and water are used by plants to synthesize carbohydrates such as sugars, hence the name photosynthesis. Oxygen is also released, mostly as a waste product – and for us as humans! 

The Water Cycle

In the global water cycle, the sun heats the Earth’s surface water, causing that surface water to evaporate[gas]. This water vapor then rises into the Earth’s atmosphere, where it cools and condenses into liquid droplets [condensation]. These droplets combine and grow until they become too heavy and fall to the earth as precipitation – liquid if rain, solid if snow and hail.

– Why not creating your own little terrarium at home by using cling film? – Please ask an adult to help you. Then: keep record and come and share it with us.


Update: Monday 4/3/2013 What we noticed: a ‘cloud’ of condensation that has formed against the inside wall of the glass jar. The weather for today: sunny

Tuesday 5/3/2013-We saw: more condensation, some of the droplets got a bit heavier than others and started running down the wall of the glass jar. Weather for today: sunny

Update: Wednesday 6/3/2013 – What we noticed today: Ruben, Gurjoth, Jeevan, Keerat and Harveen D have been observing the jar and this is what they reported back to the class: More condensation on the wall of the jar. Ruben spotted new condensation near the bottom of the jar, where there’s more water. They also spotted a ‘w’-pattern created by condensation running down the wall of the jar. Ruben also thinks that the plant has grown a little eensy weensy bit.




 Thursday 7/3/2013 – Today we got a bit more excited! We saw new condensation on the lid of the jar, even more condensation on the wall of the jar and best of all, our Ivy developed two tiny roots! So we have evidence that our plant is not busy dying – at least, but growing!! Weather: rainy Observers today: Jatinder, Shivam, Priya, Harshaan and Sukhman.

Friday 8/3/2013 – Oh goodie! We didn’t have time in class to observe/write up! So, here are the pictures of today and we will do our write up on Monday. Weather: rainy

Sunday update: 10/3/2013 – see photos – weather: cloudy and very cold

10/3/2013 – new root-growth and plant growth since the start of our observation

Evidence of a tiny new plant – 10/3/2013

New leaves – since we started the observation


Friday 8/3/2013

The lid of the jar – Friday 8/3/2013


There’s the evidence that our Ivy is growing – a few mm’s longer than yesterday.

Friday 8/3/2013

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