Teacher’s Questions for Cool Jobs: Green Science


Before reading:

1. List some ways a plant can change temperature, moisture, light and other aspects of its environment.

2. How would you expect the mix of plants in an ecosystem to respond to wetter climate conditions? How about to drier climate conditions?

During reading:

1.         Why are trees that grow along the tree line sometimes left without the energy to produce seeds?

2.         When the tree line moves north, what does the actual moving?

3.         Why would Canadian spruce forests move north faster rate than Scandinavian birch forests?

4.         List two ways trees can help warm their surroundings.

5.         Name a health benefit to growing houseplants.

6.         What are some of the sources of the formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene that often contaminate indoor air?

7.         About what percentage of their time do people spend outdoors?

8.         Explain the two ways plants can clean the air of pollutants.

9.         Define allelopathy.

10.       What is juglone?

11.       Describe how limonene smells.

After reading:

1.         Plants need air, soil, water, sunlight and space to grow. How do the ways plants shape their environment, as discussed in this article, help satisfy these requirements?

2.         Can you think of some additional ways plants influence their surroundings? (Hint: It might include other types of living things.)


1.         Imagine you are in charge of improving the natural environment in and around your hometown. What changes would you like to see? In what ways could you use plants to help make those improvements?