Do plants breathe? – part 1

Sheena and Josh, 4th standard students, went on a nature camp with their classmates and Science teacher. After dinner, Sheena found Josh sleeping under a tree. Alarmed, she woke up Josh, “We should not sleep under a tree at night!”

Josh – Oh! What? Why can’t I sleep under a tree in the night?

Sheena – Because in the night, plants take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. If you sleep under a tree at night, you will suffocate!

Josh – I don’t believe you. I am not at all suffocating.

Both of them then decided to ask the Science teacher.

The Science teacher asked if it was okay to sleep under a tree during the day, and Sheena said, “Of course! During the day plants take in carbon-dioxide and give out oxygen, so it is fine.” Now it was the teacher’s turn to look surprised.

She asked Sheena, “Do plants breathe?”

What do you think students say?

(This is the first part of a series of articles to be followed in the coming weeks. We encourage you to ask the same questions to students around you and share your experiences. In the coming weeks we will be discussing some of our findings. For more information on our research log on to

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