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Lesson 06 – Air and Water for Plant Roots

Read About Air and Water for Plant Roots


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.


A particle is an extremely tiny piece of matter.


Roots grow in soil and soak up nutrients and water for the plant.


Soil is a mixture of minerals and organisms that cover most of the earth’s surface and is where plants grow.

Watering Plants

When you water an indoor plant, the water goes on top of the soil then moves down into the soil. If you add lots of water, some of the water will come out of holes in the bottom of the pot. The soil will feel damp for a few days, so we know that some of the water stays in the soil. We say that the soil holds the water.

When it rains, or when you water a garden, the water moves into the soil. The soil at the top of the garden stays damp for a while, so we know that this soil is holding some of the water. The rest of the water sinks deeper and deeper into the soil.

How Does Water Move Through Soil?

Water moves through the spaces in soil. The spaces are between the particles. Water can move quickly through soil when there are large spaces between the particles. Water moves more slowly through smaller spaces between the particles.

How Do Plants Get Air and Water from Soil?

Plant roots grow down into soil. The roots need both air and water from the soil. Air and water are in the spaces between soil particles. If the spaces fill with water, how do the roots get air?

Remember that water moves down through soil. Water moves through the spaces between the particles. Water gets stuck in some spaces, so the soil stays damp. The rest of the water moves deeper into the soil, leaving empty spaces higher up. Some spaces hold water and others are filled with air. The plant roots get both air and water.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.