Animals (including us!) need energy to grow and thrive. We get that energy from eating food. Plants need energy, too, in order to grow and reproduce. But plants make their own food through a process called photosynthesis.
The word photosynthesis contains clues to its meaning: the prefix photo comes from a Greek word meaning “light.” The root synthesis comes from another Greek word meaning “to put together.”
Through photosynthesis, plants use the energy of light to put a meal together using water and carbon dioxide. To absorb the light, the plants use chlorophyll, the pigment that makes leaves green.
The diagrams in this lesson show how photosynthesis works.