►This site was originally created for my kids and their cousins, because we did science together. We eventually added more friends and I ended up having science classes for five years. I am no longer adding to the site (since 2014), but will leave it up for others' use. I do post to facebook occasionally if I come across something to share. =)

►Please accept my apology for any broken links or videos that do not work. I am always disappointed when people take down their videos from YouTube. It makes it hard to find just the right replacement. And because the videos were posted years ago, I usually have no recollection of what the video was about.
I kept thinking I would have time after my kids graduated, but life has filled up my free time with new responsibilities. =)

►Please do not email, asking me to post your website link, or to review something to put on my site. Any resources posted on this site are things I had found on my own during my regular searching for material I needed at the time, and liked it well enough to post here. There have never been any affiliates on my site, and as it is no longer active, would not be worthwhile at this point. ;)
Thank you!

Apologia Biology, Module 15, Kingdom Plantae: Physiology and Reproduction

M15 Recap blog post at Sahm-I-Am
Quizlet Vocabulary Game, M15

(1) p. 463-465, How a Plant Depends on Water
If you don't remember the terms photosynthesis, turgor pressure, hydrolysis, or transport, review them now by looking in the index in your textbook to see on what page they are mentioned.
Note what module they are in if you need to review videos from that module.

Stimulus:  something causing a response.

Nastic Movement vs. Tropism
Nastic movement is a preprogrammed response, and any direction of movement is independent of the direction from which the stimulus comes.  No matter from which direction the light comes, the plant's response is the same each morning -- opening of leaves and petals.  Or if a plant's leaves close when you touch them, it does not matter which direction the touch is from.  The plant is preprogrammed to this action.
Nastic movement is not a growth response.
It does not grow in a direction as a result of a stimulus.
Tropisms depend on the direction of the stimulus, and therefore, can change.
Tropisms can be a growth response or a movement response.
Growth of a plant toward sunlight is phototropismThe sunlight is the stimulus.
• Heliotropism is when plants bend toward the sun as it moves across the sky.  This is a movement response that is a tropic response since it depends on the direction of the stimulus.
--These are tropisms if the plant moves or grows toward the light, rather than just opening its leaves as in nastic movement.   
• Thigmotropism is a growth response to touch, like a vine touching a branch will grow around the branch.  The direction of growth depends on the direction of the branch.  The branch is the stimulus.
Tropisms are growth or movement responses, but both depend on the direction of the stimulus.
• Gravitropism (also called geotropism) works in two ways.  Roots grow down, and shoots grow up.  The shoots growing up is not simply a result of phototropism, because they will grow up even in the dark.  The seeds that germinate and sprout upwards while still covered with soil are proof of this.  This is called negative gravitropism, since they grow in the opposite direction of gravity.  Roots growing down is positive gravitropism.
• Hydrotropism is growth toward water.  This would most likely be roots growing toward water.

Examples of nastic movement (not a growth response like a tropism can be)
Nastic movement because it does not matter from which direction the bug comes.
This is a preprogrammed response to happen when the hairs are touched.   

More nastic movement
Nastic movement because it does not matter from which direction the leaves are touched.   
This is a preprogrammed response to happen when touched.    

Nastic movement of a Moon Flower, also called an Evening Primrose
It opens near dusk and it takes about 30 to 60 seconds for one to open. About 10 to 20 open each night on a plant and they all fade by noon the next day.
♦ This is in real time, not a time lapse.
Nastic movement because there is nothing in any direction that prompts this behavior.  
This is a preprogrammed response for this to happen at night. 

LOL, dh asked about pollination, and I told him they're open until noon the next day.
He laughed and said they only serve breakfast.  =)

►More nastic movment videos at Plants-in-Motion.  Click on the side titles.

(2) p. 465-466, Water Absorption in Plants
Clay, Silt, or Sand
She says equal parts of each, but for a good loam, Sand and Silt should actually be 40% each, and Clay less than 20%.

How to test your own soil

Now that you know what is a good loam, and maybe what your own soil's content is, how much you should water your garden?

(3) p. 466-469, Water Transport in Plants
Transpiration - water up the xylem and out the leaf. 
Translocation - sugars down the phloem. (great video!)

Water's cohesion

Adhesion and cohesion

(4) p. 469-471, Plant Growth
Hormones in plants

Remember the difference between nastic movement and tropisms?
Tropisms can be a movement OR a growth response.
Phototropism, and a little about gravitropism 
These are growth responses as a result of the direction of the stimulus - the sun, or gravity.

Phototropism and Heliotropism
Watch these bush beans as they grow toward the sun. (phototropism)
Then watch as shadows move over them - they ALL lean toward the sun. (heliotropism)
(Video was shot over a 24 hour period.)
Growth and Movement response is a result of the direction of the stimulus - the sun.

Thigmotropism - response to touch (what the plant touches, not what touches the plant - like a human or animal)
Growth response as a result of the direction of the stimulus - the pole.  The vine would not grow this direction if it were not for the pole.
LOL at the spider that comes down at 0:12  =D

►More tropism videos at Plants-in-Motion.  Click on the side titles.
You will see that there is a video for Sunflower phototropism, as well as one for Sunflower solar tracking, also called heliotropism.  (Read the info on each video.)

(5) p. 473-475, Reproduction in Plants: Vegetative Reproduction
Asexual reproduction

(6) 475b-478, Sexual Reproduction in Phylum Anthophyta (flowers)

(7), p. 480-484, The Reproductive Process in Anthophytes, Part 1: Forming Pollen and Embryo Sacs; Part 2: Pollination; Part 3: Fertilization 

(8) p. 485-488, Seeds and Fruits
This is a chart I made to see at a glance the classification of fruits.
These are the ones used in your Biology book.

(9) p. 489-190, Germination and Early Growth
Beans -- dicotyledons
"Epigeal germination
"Filmed underground to show the roots growing, the hypocotyl grows and pulls the cotyledons up through the soil and above ground. The protective skin called the testa remains underground.
"The cotyledons feed the plant until its strong enough to support itself. When spent [used up], the cotyledons can drop off.
"9-12 minute interval between exposures.  This sequence was filmed over a period of about 4 weeks."
--from Neil Bromhall
The cotyledons (the 2 halves of the bean) stay on the stem for a bit as it grows, and are food for the plant until photosynthesis in the leaf can begin.

Peas -- dicotyledons
"Hypogeal germination
"In this type of germination, the cotyledons remain in the soil or just above the surface. Here the epicotyl elongates, pushing the plumule upwards. Cotyledons do not turn green and gradually dry up. e.g. pea, mango, groundnut, etc.
"The underground sequence was filmed over a period of a week with an 8 minute interval."
--from Neil Bromhall

Corn -- monocotyledons

History Pen Letters

Last year, my oldest daughter Rebekah had a really cool idea!  She loves history, and one of her main interests is the Civil War.
Her Cousin A is interested in it too, so last year they started writing letters to each other, pretending to be someone from history.
They each chose a historical last name, but not necessarily one from the Civil War time period.  For example, Rebekah chose Rolfe.  They weren't really trying to include exact details, but just having fun.
They dated their letters with the current day's date, but with 1861 instead of 2010 (although they did write 2010 somewhere else on the letter.  I thought this was good so later they could remember what year it really was and how old the girls were.)
They "live" in different places, so that they would have a reason to write letters.
In their letters they are married and have children.  They write about their families and occasionally  historical events that occurred during the Civil War.  Mostly it is for fun, so there's not too much of this in each letter.  =)
Sometimes it's more hysterical than historical.  =D

Once they were both expecting, and thought it hilarious!
The letters are sometimes funny, or not always about things that are historical, but they're having a good time. I am not directing this in any way, and just let them have fun with it.  It was their idea, after all.  =)
They may do some research however, just when they want to know something for a particular letter, so they're learning a little bit here and there.
My daughter has a "husband" in the war, and she writes about him being gone, and where he is, and a little about the battles.
Once my niece was in the middle of writing a letter to Rebekah and her writing got faint and illegible as she wrote, "I can't see" and the pen trailed off...
Then the writing on the paper changes styles and it's her husband writing (later) to my daughter telling that Cousin A had fainted and that the doctor came.  This was during her "pregnancy."
I thought that was clever how she did that in the letter!
The girls are making copies of each other's letters to put them all in order in clear sleeves in a binder.  They have enjoyed reading back over them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I got to thinking about how a group might do this for educational purposes, and I decided to put my ideas here.
If it was a group of kids rather than just two individuals, I wasn't sure about how to decide who would answer whose letter... and some kids might be close friends, and others kind of be left out of all the action.  So maybe they could have a buddy for a few weeks, then switch up each time they move on to a different time frame.  Or maybe there could be communities where some kids know each other and could only write to those in the other locations.  (Would be fun to reference "Mr. Tomkins" or others in the community)  If there are any who want to pretend to be related, that would be great, but it might be easier if they were separate so they could have more control over their profiles and personalities, etc.
The writing only needs to contain just a few real facts, and the rest could just be made up about their own "life."

I'm thinking this will work well with American History, as it can be more ongoing, being that it is typically studied for a year.  But other specific historical eras may lend themselves to this type of study as well.

But they should brainstorm and write down a "profile" of their character to begin with. 
This will end up being a history lesson in itself! 
Rebekah said the hardest thing is keeping the characters' ages, kids, and other details straight. It's a lot like writing a book.
Each "character" needs a profile so details will not mistakenly get "changed" from one letter to the next. Each child should keep their own profile handy, as well as a list of things s/he "learns" about her historical buddy.
What kind of family? middle class? poor?  Jew?
What kind of occupation? Shipping?  printer?  businessman?  laborer?  watchmaker?
Also, she said the setting needs to be clarified, as in what time period.  Clothing and customs could be studied a bit. 
Also, where does each character live? It will obviously need to be in different places because they are writing letters.  What kinds of day-to-day things they write about will depend on their location.  Talk about hardships or accomplishments of the time.

This should probably be done like writing... after brainstorming and figuring out a few things for profiles, let it "rest" a couple of days before going back to it.
Assign some easy children's books to read, even for older kids, so they can get an overview of what time period they are studying.
Copies should be made of the profiles for at least one main person to keep; someone who could help with assignment suggestions if some are having a harder time figuring out what their type of character would do/see every day.  As their character develops new facts about themselves, these should be added to the profiles.  Things like an injury, moving, getting a dog, etc.  Just anything, really, that should be kept in mind.

(A blog would be an excellent place to keep ongoing updated material like this!  For assignments, too.)

You could assign the dates each week, like the month of July, 1776, or preceding months. That would be a huge one!  
Or July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.  What would one have heard in the news about it?  What were you or your family doing when you learned of it?  This would obviously be a one-time assignment, and not ongoing.
Before beginning the assignment each week, let the kids discuss where they live and what was going on at that place during the time assigned. They could write down a few notes to research at home.
They could just mention a few details of what happened in their town, etc. and ask a few questions to the one they're writing.

Additional note:  Boys may not want to write letters.  Some girls may not either.  So maybe they could pretend to write for a newspaper, or to be a spy who is finding out information from the enemy. 

History Pen Letters won't work for all kids. My son would rather just find 2 or 3 facts and write them down.
IF he was forced to, that is, lol.

I'm sure there are many more ideas, and can it get quite specific.  I guess if a co-op or group wanted to do this, they would need to also brainstorm and find more new ideas and discard others.
The beauty of homeschooling.  =)


Biology, Module 14, Kingdom Plantae: Anatomy and Classification

Several videos from this post have been deleted from youtube.  I will try to find replacements as we go through Biology again this fall.  I am just so busy that I will not able to do it any earlier.  It can be difficult to keep all posts updated at all times, but I sure do wish I could!
I am sorry for any inconvenience, but if you find any suitable replacements, please do email me!
Thank you!

M14 Recap blog post at Sahm-I-Am
Quizlet Vocabulary Game, M14 

(1) p. 429-430, Basic Plant Anatomy
Perennials aren't perennials everywhere.

Four basic types of plant tissue:
1. ground tissue - the most common tissue in plants
2. dermal tissue (like epidermis - your skin)
3. vascular tissue - a "bundle" that contains the xylem and phloem (like veins)
The vascular tissue (contains xylem and phloem) can appear differently, depending on if the plant is a dicot or a monocot.
4. meristematic tissue contains cells that have not specialized in any particular function.
(See this image with 3 of the 4 tissues)

Xylem and Phloem  (zy' lum, flow' um)
♦Xylem and phloem tubes are together in a vein, or a vascular bundle.
If you look at the bottom of a stalk of celery, you will see these.  They look like strings, and both xylem and phloem are bundled together, like wires through a power cord.
(See bundles of xylem and phloem, and ground tissue in celery)
♦ The xylem transports water and minerals UP the roots to the leaves where the chlorophyll is located, in order to make food for the plant.
Xylem is dead tissue.
♦ The phloem transports food (sugars) back DOWN the leaves, then to all the rest of the parts of the plant.

The xylem and phloem are in vascular bundles in both dicot and monocot plants.
The words dicotyledon and monocotyledon tell how many cotyledons the plants have.  A cotyledon is the part of the seed that contains "starter food" for the plant. 
A seed with two cotyledons (like a bean) can be split into two pieces.
(Images of a dicot and a monocot seed)

►In this video about xylem and phloem, he talks about the vascular cambium that divides the phloem and the xylem.  So he is talking about a dicot (or dicotyledon).

[Video has been deleted from youtube.]

(2) p. 431-435, The Macroscopic Structure of a Leaf
Monocots (monocotyledons)

Dicots (Dicotyledons) have woody stems.  Trees have woody stems.

►See several labeled images here.
►A great site that classifies leaves.  (Also read the paragraph about bark)
• Scroll down and see what kinds of fruits there are, including nuts.
• These are important to think about when classifying leaves in class.

(3) p. 435-436, Experiment 14.1, Leaf Collection and Observation
Do the experiment as written, but here are two sites to help with tree identification.
► Keys to Leaves of Virginia, (4H) I've got my leaf; let's get started!
► Auburn University Horticulture Dept, Plant Identification Resource

(4) p. 436-438, The Microscopic Structure of a Leaf
The microscopic structure is what you cannot see with the naked eye.
►Image of what is inside a leaf.

►Click here and see a drawing of guard cells.
More images.
•The stomata (singular - stoma) are openings that allow carbon dioxide to enter the plant and oxygen to exit the plant, as well as the release of water vapor.
•A pair of guard cells open and close the stoma to control this process.  They open or close depending on if the vacuoles are full of water or not.  (Remember from p. 169 that turgor pressure from being full of water helps keep a plant rigid.  The same applies to guard cells.)
Stomata are usually open during the day during photosynthesis, and closed at night.  Sometimes stomata close during the day if it is too hot and the plant starts losing too much moisture.  At these times, photosynthesis ceases.

Transpiration - how water and minerals are transported up the xylem (which is dead tissue).

Parenchyma = all the palisade parenchyma and spongy parenchyma.
Also called palisade mesophyll and spongy mesophyll
See the two images here -- one calls it mesophyll; one calls it parenchyma.

"Collenchyma is made  up of thick-walled cells that support the vein.  Towards the end of the leaf, the veins get so small that there is no collenchyma anymore."
-Apologia Biology, p. 438

Dermal tissue (like epidermis - skin), Vascular tissue (like veins), Ground tissue (everything else)
Perenchyma (palisade and spongy layers) and collenchyma (think of a stalk of celery, but in leaves, much smaller, and thins out to nothing toward the end of the leaf)

[Video has been deleted from youtube.]

Cytoplasmic Streaming is the movement of the cell's cytoplasm, transporting things such as nutrients, proteins, etc.  (remember, cyto means cell) "The chloroplasts in cells are constantly moving due to cytoplasmic streaming."
-Apologia Biology, p. 437

(5) p. 438-442, Leaf Color
You probably know that leaves look green because of chlorophyll.  (If you're in my science class, you better know!)  =D  But you may not know that the chlorophyll masks other colors that are present in the leaf, so the leaf appears green. 
In the fall when the leaves turn, you see these other colors.  But some leaves are never completely green.  They may appear more white than green, or purple, and some have a little pink, especially along the veins.
♦ If the leaf has an abscission layer, in the fall when there is less sunlight hours in the day, the cells in this layer start blocking the xylem and phloem.  Read more on p. 441.  =)
I'm sure you can figure out that "evergreens" do not have an abscission layer.

►For Experiment 14.2, read and watch the video of Purple, Green, Pink, and Back at Applie's Place.
►I opted not to do this experiment.  I'll just discuss it during class since we have already done some color changing using red/purple cabbage juice while studying Ph levels in Module 5.
• See our videos of Ph level testing.  Scroll down.

(6) p. 442-445, Roots
Ignore the part about roots being "adapted" to their environment.  God knew what he was doing to begin with, and it does not need to adapt.  If this were true, then my plants would not die when I plant them in the wrong place where there is not enough or too much sun, water, etc.  This is also why my daughters take care of the plants around the house instead of me.  Plants just don't adapt to the conditions I put them in, lol.  =D
Roots, xylem, phloem, vascular cambium, dicots, monocots, etc.

(7) p. 446-449, Stems
The words dicotyledon and monocotyledon tell how many cotyledons the plants have.  
A cotyledon is the part of the seed that contains "starter food" for the plant. 
Comparison of monocotyledons (monocots) and dicotyledons (dicots).

[Video has been deleted from youtube.]

Monocots vs. Dicots  Scroll down and see much more!
►Cross-section of a leaf, and more about monocots and dicots.

(8) p. 449-451, Experiment 14.3, Cross Sections of Roots, Stems, and a Leaf
Do not do this experiment unless you have read and done all the On Your Own questions up through this section.  If you have not watched all the videos, please do that now.

Corn is a monocot.   Monocotyledon means there is one cotyledon.
Buttercups are dicots. Dicotyledon means there are two cotyledons.
A seed with two cotyledons (like a bean) can be split into two pieces.
My class, follow directions on handout, and use these links.
Most all the small pictures will enlarge when clicked.  
ACross section of leaf
BLateral cross section of a buttercup root (Ranunculus) (top three pictures)
CLateral cross section of a corn root (Zea mays)
►A link for both corn root and corn stem, root on the left, stem on the right.  Note the difference. 
DLateral cross section of a corn stem (Zea mays)  These look to me like skeletons.  The textbook called them monkey faces, and the person who posted these pictures called them creepy or angry.  lol.
The herbaceous stems of monocots appear this way because of the placement of xylem and phloem within the fibrovascular bundle.
ELateral cross section of a buttercup stem (Ranunculus) (a little over halfway down on the right)

►Also, you can see Julie's post.  She has a very good microscope, and a steady hand.
Her pictures are in the same order that I have them listed above, and in the book:
Leaf, Ranunculus root, Zea Mays root, Zea Mays stem, Ranunculus stem.

(9) p. 452-454, The Bryophytes (nonvascular plants - no xylem and phloem)
These plants cannot grow very tall.  They do not have xylem and phloem to transport water and minerals, etc, to all parts of the plant.
One such plant is moss. Moss has leafy shoots and rhizoids. (Remember rhizoids from Module 4?  There are a few other words in this module that were also mentioned in M4.  Might be worth a quick review.)
►The life cycle of mosses is called alternation of generations.
This means there is both a haploid form and a diploid form.  (You can review these terms in Module 7)
1) During the gametophyte generation is when moss is in its haploid form, in which sperm and eggs are made through mitosis.  This is the form with which we are more familiar.
2) "When fertilization takes place, the result is a diploid zygote, which develops into the sporophyte generation."
-Apologia Biology, p. 453  
"Then they form leafy shoots again, which are part of the gametophyte generation."
"The generations alternate between haploid and diploid."
"Since the leafy shoot is what we typically see when we examine mosses, we say that the gametophyte is the dominant generation.
-Apologia Biology, p. 454
Life Cycle of Mosses - alteration of generations.

(10) p. 455-456, Seedless Vascular Plants
Plants with vascular tissues can grow to be quite large.  Sequoia trees in California can grow to be really large!

Some vascular plants are seedless.
The members of the phylum Pterophyta are called ferns.  Ferns can grow from the ground, or attach themselves to a tree, or even grow so large that they look like a tree!
Like mosses, ferns have an alteration of generations lifestyle.

(11) p. 457-458, Seed-Making Plants
Phylum Coniferophyta
Reproduction of a conifer (cone-bearing trees)