Removing Chlorophyll from Leaves


As we learned about leaves, the class discovered that leaves are not truly green while reading about leaves. The students then began to ask if leaves are not really green, then what color are they? Filled with questions, they took to the internet for answers. Annika told her classmates that leaves were filled with green stuff called chlorophyll. After checking a few websites, Annika found a recipe that we help her and her classmates answer the very question that had been plaguing them.

What would we need?

1. a pot 2. a glass bowl 3. rubbing alcohol 4. measuring cups 5. water

As one of the students filled the measuring cup with water, many other questions started to come up. All of them instantly wanted to know why did we need to boil the water. Alex said , " To get in to the plant!" Boiling a leave makes it easier for alcohol to get into the plant.

When asked what does boiling water look like? Shirmar said, "When the water gets hot and hot, it is boiling. She then adds, "The water will pop with circles". Tirza quickly added, "Bubbles." Shirmar then warned, "If it touches you, it stings."


What color will the leaves be when we finish our science experiment? The students passed the leaves around and made a hypothesis about what color each leaf would turn. But as they touch the leaves, many of the students began making other observations. Shirmar noticed that the leaves were smooth. So, Nohea asked to hold the fig leaf. Nohea says, "The leaf is soft and furry."


Everyone wanted a chance to see the bubbles and what the leaf looked like as it boiled.


One student began to measure the rubbing, then we placed the boiled leaves in a boil and poured the alcohol on them.


Soon the class started making predictions about what color the leaves would turn. Shirmar said, I think they will be purple. Mark said, "No, they will be yellow." Nohea and Kyle agreed they would be orange. Tirza thought they would be red, and Alex said she thought they would stay green.

The emerald green liquid is the chlorophyll. The students were very excited about seeing the chlorophyll, but they wanted the leaves to turn faster. Shirmar suggested that we add more alcohol. So we did and check for any changes the next day. We could see more of the change happening. They could see the yellow peeking through on the fig leaf and red from the oak leaf. But still they wanted to see a bigger changes. Annika suggested that we boil the leaves again to see if that would speed up the reaction. When the class was satisfied with the changes, they started to write their very first lab report.

We are definitely scientist in the making


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