ScienceSource Supplemental Lab Activity

Unit A - Chapter 1

Investigating Science 9

Quick Lab

Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful Plants

The world is full of interesting and amazing life forms. Plants are an important part of Earth's biological diversity.

Consider the following facts:

  • One leaf from the Victoria amazonica, or giant water lily, can grow to a size of 2.4 m in width. That means that, when placed in a pool of water, one leaf can hold the weight of a toddler without sinking!
  • The largest recorded leaf size belongs to the Raphia taedigera, or raffia palm, measuring 20 m in length.
  • Trees "sweat." On a hot day, a typical birch tree will lose as much as 400 L of water. That is the equivalent of 1200 cans of pop!
  • One frond from the Macrocystis pyrifera, or Pacific giant kelp, can grow to a height of 120 m. That is equivalent to the length of two NHL hockey rinks.


To present information about plant diversity by focussing on an unusual plant


  1. With a partner, create a Web page or computer presentation that illustrates biological diversity by focussing on unusual plant life forms. You could choose one of the plants mentioned above, one you know about, or one your teacher might suggest. Before beginning, think about the steps involved in creating your Web page or presentation, and develop a plan to divide up the work.
  2. You may wish to scan, download, or import images to enhance your work. Go to page 14 on ScienceSource for links to help you. Make sure to record the exact source of each item you download.
  3. Make use of layout and colour features to highlight major ideas. Strive for a product with a professional appearance. Your work should be appropriate for other students to access as part of their learning or review.
  4. Share your work with your class, explaining the features that you have included.


  1. After viewing presentations from your classmates, list three new things you learned about plants that you did not know before.
  2. What would you change in your presentation to improve it? Why?