How Do Primary Producers Make Their Own Food?


Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Schoolyard and Urban Ecosystem

Primary producers like plants make their own food by doing something called photosynthesis.

How does photosynthesis work?

  • Leaves of plants absorb light from the sun.
  • Leaves of plants also absorb the air that people breathe out, called carbon dioxide.
  • Leaves of plants also absorb water. They can get water from falling rain or they can get it out of the ground with their roots.
  • Leaves of plants use light from the sun to turn the air people breathe out and water into glucose and oxygen. Glucose is a type of sugar that plants use for food help them grow. Oxygen is the gas that people breathe in. So not only do plants make their own food, but they make the air that we breathe in!

In other words, photosynthesis is:

sunlight + air people breath out + water =

plant food + air people breathe in



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