MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Biological Mysteries of Kimchi: Examining How Plants Absorb and Lose Water

Xueyang Meng
Biology teacher
Verakin High School of Chongqing
Chongqing, China


Kimchi is a spicy pickled cabbage dish eaten in Korea and China. Using Kimchi as a teaching vehicle, this lesson is about how plants absorb and lose water. The lesson has three main learning/teaching goals. The first main learning goal is to understand that plants absorb and lose water through cells. The second is to learn how to observe the plasmolysis of plants. The third one is to understand the principle of osmosis in plant cells. As a prerequisite to this lesson, students should know about the structure of plants and the concept of diffusion. This lesson is about 40 minutes. The instructions for all the experiments in this lesson can be downloaded off the BLOSSOMS webpage.


I liked STEM subjects when I was in the middle school, especially math. However I chose biology as my major when I went to college. I’ve taught middle school biology for 20 years and worked as a class adviser for 14 years. So I have rich experience in class management and student development.


This resource provides a comprehensive overview of Diffusion and Osmosis.

This site, sponsored by Plant Life, covers the topic of cells and diffusion.

Title Language Format  
The Biological Mysteries of Kimchi (Mandarin, mp4) Mandarin MPEG 4 Download
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This Lesson is in the following clusters: Botany