The Sun sends out energy in rays of light…

The green pigment (chlorophyll) in the plant leaves catches the sun’s energy.

Plants then mix the sun’s energy with parts of water and air to make sugar.

This is called PHOTOSYNTHESIS.

Plants are the only living organisms that can make their own food. This is one of the main ways of deciding if something is a plant.     

When we eat the sugar, our bodies break the sugar back down into its parts and the sun’s energy is released. Our bodies use the energy to power us people.


 You Are Running on “Plant Power

Pretend you are a giant sequoia tree. You couldn’t go to the store, so where would you get your food? How much would you have to eat? Think about it? You probably would start eating everything around you. But trees don’t have to. There are no holes around trees where they dug up last nights dinner! Trees use only water, air, and the energy from the sun to make the food that gives them the energy they need to grow.

In fact, ONLY PLANTS can take the energy  from the sun and pack it up into food molecules so the rest of us can run on solar power, too.

YummyPlantsYour body is made of the elements found in the earth. So. Do you eat dirt?

Heavens NO! But plants do.

Plants take minerals and chemicals from the ground and build themselves. When you eat the plants, your body builds itself with the building blocks that the plant took from the soil.

Keep the Energy Moving:

The Energy Circle


Energy flows from the sun —> to the plants ( the PRIMARY PROCUCERS OF FOOD)

 —> then to the plant eaters (HERBIVORES)

 —> then to the meat eaters (CARNIVORES)

At the bottom are the DECOMPOSERS (worms, bacteria, micro-organisms) break down all the dead stuff and return the parts to the earth.

Green plants (and certain types of bacteria) and are called “primary producers” because they produce energy that can be used by the rest of the living organisms on earth. They capture energy from the sun use it to make sugares (sucrose and glucose) and other compounds that other life forms can eat and “burn” for energy trafficlight_GO  A Place to Go    energy_bal_title for More to Know     Click here to go to the FT Exploring webpages to learn more about energy flows.

Click here to learn about the Energy Balance in peopleTellMeMore_yel.