DIY Homeschooler

Tools for the Homeschool Handy-Mom

Free Nature Studies: Roots

Free Nature Studies: Roots

Free Nature Studies: Roots

Roots have four main functions — storage, absorption, circulation, and anchorage.

Read current chapter online: “Roots of Many Forms”

  • Copy Romans 11:16 into your notebook.
  • Add a page in your plant notebook for each of the plants listed:
  • Investigate the differences between annuals, biennials, and perennials. Make a chart showing the differences between them. You’ll find a great resource below.
  • Something to do #1: You’ll find resources below that will help you list and describe the different types of roots and their characteristics.
  • Something to do #2: If you didn’t already enjoy them in the lesson on How Plants Grow, you’ll find resources below for making a list of roots that give man food.
  • Something to do #3: Use a compare/contrast resource for making the chart.
  • Something to do #4 & 5: Science experiment sheets can be used to document these experiments.
  • Something to do #5: Read about capillarity at the USGS. You’ll also find experiment resources below.
  • Something to do #6: You’ll want to make a collection of stems before you are ready for the next lesson.
  • Memorize and recite Proverbs 12:12b or Ephesians 3:17.
  • More about roots from the Book of Knowledge:

Because the roots of plants are usually underground, we often do not realize how big or how long they are. Sometimes there is much more of the plant underground than there is above ground!…

Roots have four chief functions:

1. Absorption. Roots absorb water and dissolved minerals which the plant must have to live and grow.

2. Circulation (sometimes called conduction). Water and the plant’s food must be distributed to all parts of the roots, leaves and stem. Circulation, of course, is also carried on in the stem.

3. Storage. Many plants store large amounts of food in their roots. The roots of carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes furnish food for animals and man as well as for the plants themselves.

4. Anchorage. A plant must be anchored in one place to maintain its water supply. As you have probably noticed, plants usually dry up and die if they are pulled up by the roots. To see how strong the root anchorage is, watch trees and tall grasses in a storm. Incidentally, when a tree has been uprooted by the wind, you will find that it is most often a tree that spread its roots near the surface. A tree with a deep taproot is more likely to be broken off above ground than uprooted.

Root hairs are often less than one-sixteenth of an inch long. They make up for their small size by large numbers. Any fair-sized plant has millions of them. Usually root hairs live for only a short time, but in some desert plants they have thick walls and may last for years. If you want to see a beautiful white growth of root hairs, put some radish seeds on a piece of moist blotting paper, in a saucer. Cover this with another saucer, and look at it a few days later.

“The Structure of Seed Plants,” The Book of Knowledge
  • Plants
    Ready to go outdoors? The Handbook of Nature Study covers plants beginning on page 453, and continuing through page 731. The beginning pages cover how to begin the study of plants and their flowers, and then follow guidelines for investigating specific wildflowers, weeds, garden flowers, cultivated crop plants, trees, and flowerless plants.

Further Investigation

What is the Life Cycle of a Plant?
Interactive investigation of annuals, biennials, and perennials for younger students at the University of Illinois Extension. Answer the questions to move through each type.

Very nice explanation of the different types of roots with diagrams at

Plant Structures: Roots
The function, structures, and types of roots for older students from the Colorado State University Extension Center.

The Main Parts and Functions of the Carrot Root
An in-depth look…at a carrot at


Capillarity of Soils
Science fair project experiment comparing the rise of water in three soils.

Label Flowering Plant Anatomy
Labeling diagram from that includes root system. You can label the remainder of the diagram as we come to those sections in future lessons.

The First Book of Plants {Free eBook}

The First Book of Plants {Free eBook}
Free public domain title that makes an excellent introduction to plants and can be used as a helpful plant study reference.

Free Nature Studies: Roots

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Very simple picture book expressing one little boy’s hope as he waters, pulls the weeds, and waits…. A personal favorite.

Free Nature Studies: How Plants Grow

The World of Plants by Dinah Zike
Dinah Zike was known for her foldables before lapbooks became popular. In this book she incorporates that learning tool with learning about plants. Includes 24 complete lessons including templates, activities, the scientific method and suggestions for further activities and research. You’ll find an example lesson at the publisher’s website. Lessons on roots, stems and leaves are included.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Beginning Plants
Free chapter excerpt and sample at Funtastic Unit Studies with activities for covering seeds, roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and growing plants aimed at 4-7 year olds.

Plant Parts We Eat
Helpful short unit study at the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service that includes activities and worksheets covering science, art, language arts, and math.

Plant Parts We Eat
11-page download from the Texas Farm Bureau includes a small booklet to put together with room for listing flowers, stems, leaves, roots, and seeds that we eat.

Plant Parts
The six plant parts and their functions in this adaptable lesson plan.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Root Structure
Diagram suitable for notebook from University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Center.

Nature Journal Notebooking Sets {Free Download}

Nature Journal Notebooking Sets {Free Download}
Free blank nature journal sets for drawing, illustrating, copying, or narrating.

Roots Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, and Something to Do #1 and #2.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World

Last Updated:

More Tools

Create a website or blog at