Roots Rule: Build Your Own Root System [4-H Activity]

Activity adapted from American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Purple Plow Roots Rule Puzzler

Roots are an important part of a plant that anchor the plant and are responsible for the uptake of water. They promote soil health by preventing erosion and creating beneficial microbial communities.  

But a root is not just a root. There are different types of roots each performing a different task. What types of roots are there and what do they do? Do a little research and see what information you can find out about roots. Hint: there are three primary types of roots. 

Can you build a root system that can hold a pencil in place?

Suggested materials:

  • Pencils
  • Tape
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors

Post pictures of your completed root system in the NH 4-H Community Facebook Group with #NH4HHorticulture.

Want a bigger challenge? Try to “root” heavier items. Have a competition to see who can support the heaviest item!


Michelle Bersaw-Robblee
4-H Youth Development and 4-H Horticulture Field Specialist
Asst Field Specialist
Phone: (603) 796-2151 ext. 317
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824