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Do leaves like sunlight? How could we tell?

Look at the lovely coleus (pronounced "co-lee-us") and the
beautiful geranium (pronounced "jer-ane-ee-um") I have
brought to school today. Coleus usually grows inside the
house, near a sunny window, and geranium grows outside. In
some very warm climates, coleus can be outside, but it
doesn't like to get cold. Geraniums are tough, and can live
outside, almost anywhere on earth.

I'll put them both on the counter by the window, and every
hour, we will look at them to see if the leaves have moved.
We could draw pictures that show the direction that the
leaves face as the sun passes across the window during the
daytimes. Which way do you think the leaves will face when
we come into the classroom tomorrow morning?

At noon tomorrow, we will turn the plants, and watch to see
if the leaves turn toward the light during the afternoon, and
if they do, we want to make a note of how long it takes them
to turn so that they face the sun again.

Does sunlight make the plants grow? I have read that leaves
grow on their shaded sides, and that pushes the faces of the
leaves toward the sun.

Geranium flowers don't last very long, but we can watch the
flowers to see if they turn toward the sun, also. That would
mean that the stems are growing on their shaded sides.

What would happen to the plants if we take them away from the
window so they can't see the sun? We can try it, and see
what happens. Some kinds of leaves lose their pretty colors
if they can't see the sun.

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