Monday, March 21, 2016

The Celery Experiment

Perhaps I miss teaching more than I think (translation: I miss teaching kindergarten at Irwin Avenue Elementary School back when teaching was fun, before 2011).

Knowing Brycen was coming over, I asked my mom to pick up some cheap celery (translation: see if you can get a discount on brown, expired celery, because this won't be for eating).

My mom could not find expired celery and instead came home with a beautiful bunch. I don't even like celery - life is too short to be chomping away on that veggie forever - but I felt bad wasting the majority of it. The reason I wanted celery was to make stampers for painting, and we didn't need much.

Of course my mom just said, no problem, she would eat all that was left, but then I remembered the great celery experiment!! I am sure you all have done this in your primary years: You put a stalk of celery with leaves in a cup of water and then add food dye to the water. After 2-3 days, the leaves will take on the hue of that color. I heard this works for white carnation flowers too.

So I decided Brycen and I would get our science on. Objectives: student will identify the term "stem" and explain how it "sucks water up and into its leaves."

Brycen adding red food dye. Excuse the messy counter.

We used red, orange, a blue-green mix, a red-blue=purple mix, and plain green. We also left the "control" celery in plain old water. 
 According to Brycen "We put the celery in this."

Me: "Use your words."

B: "Okay, mom. We used food coloring and put it in the water and the celery will do this" (mimics a straw).

Me: "What part sucks the water up to the leaves?"

B: "The . . . the . . . ?"

Me: "The stem?"

B: "Yes, that."

Today we took down the cups to examine what happened. I should have found a magnifying glass! I drew the cup and the celery and asked Brycen to color the water and then the matching leaves. He liked doing that so much he did another. When I taught kindergarten my students made a whole mini-book. I didn't know what to expect from Brycen, so I was excited when he wanted to color an additional page!

I didn't even know he could color inside the lines this well. Hooray for new developments.

Yes, there was still celery leftover for Granny. And what happened to using the celery as stampers? That was a success too, but one for another blog post.


  1. Ahhh! Brings back memories of grammy showing us how Queen Anne's lace wild flowers would turn colors using food coloring in the same technique when we were kids. She didn't call SCIENCE...more like MAGIC!
    I forgot celery would behave the same way.
    Can't wait to see the stamping lesson!

    1. Ooooh, Aunt Patty Cakes, Queen Anne's Lace would be so pretty. I think I know where I can pick some in summer.

  2. I agree, I don't like celery either - tastes like STRINGY NOTHING! Celery is much more fun for science than for eating! :)

  3. I remember doing this as a child, it was interesting and fun.
    Nice that you can still enjoy these projects with someone.

  4. Celery has never been a fave of mine either. Too stringy! The stuff in a bag from the grocery is gross too! Then I had Korean celery. I actually really like it now. The flavor is more pronounced and the texture is a lot more tender and less stringy. I eat it all the time now!


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