Types of Roots: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 What Do Roots Do?
  • 1:16 Types of Roots
  • 3:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Cook

I have been teaching elementary school for 16 years. I have extensive experience in lesson and curriculum development and educational technology.

Have you heard someone say that they were going to put their roots down in a new town? A plant's roots keep it in place and prevent it from moving; that's where the saying comes from. This lesson will teach you about the types of roots.

What Do Roots Do?

A man grows a giant turnip, but he can't pull it out, so he goes and gets help. Now he pulls on the turnip plant and his wife pulls on him. Eventually he gets the kids and the pets and finally a mouse. The turnip comes popping out, but it took effort. This is a children's story, but the turnip they were fighting was actually a root. A turnip is just one type of root but before we can discuss the types of roots, let's talk about what a root does for a plant.

First, the roots act like a hose to bring water and nutrients to the plant. Most roots lie below the ground and absorb water and minerals from the soil and bring it to the other parts of the plant. That's why you put plant fertilizer in the soil around a new plant.

Second, the root's job is to hold the plant in place. The reason the wind doesn't blow a tree right over is because the roots hold it in place.

Some roots are used to store nutrients and even seeds. Have you ever pulled a carrot plant out of the ground? A carrot has a kind of root that holds much of its nutrients underground.

Types of Roots

There are four main roots types, and they have different functions and purposes:

A taproot forms one long, large root that sprouts from the seed. Taproots can be long and thick, and smaller sprout roots can grow off the main root. These smaller roots usually remain small. Plants like carrots, dandelions, and tulips have a taproot.

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