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In this activity, students will explore photosynthesis by participating in a card sort activity. Students will break down clues from various scientific discoveries to identify the inputs and outputs of the process. Then, they will use an online simulation to solidify their understanding of photosynthesis.
This Explore activity was designed to be integrated into an instructional sequence that incorporates photosynthesis. While I integrated photosynthesis into my units on climate, climate change, and the carbon cycle, this activity could fit into an instructional sequence related to plants, cells, or cellular respiration. It can be used to support student learning for NGSS MS-LS1-6 or HS-LS2-5).
This activity ties into the specific Disciplinary Core Idea LS2.B Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems. Additional explore activities are necessary to fully address this DCI and Performance Expectation, specifically in regards to the process of cellular respiration and the role of both in the larger carbon cycle.
HS-LS2-5 Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
MS-LS1-6 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
LS2.B Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems Photosynthesis and cellular respiration provide most of the energy for life processes.
Students can use a model to explain the role of plants in the cycling of oxygen and carbon.
(Explain Phase: Students can develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of oxygen and carbon between the atmosphere and the biosphere.)
I can use a model to explain how plants cycle oxygen and carbon.
(Explain Phase: I can develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of oxygen and carbon between the atmosphere and the biosphere.)
Science and Engineering Practice: Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concept: Systems and System Models
Students should already have participated in an Engage activity to activate prior knowledge and spark student interest. Students would also benefit from having an understanding of states of matter, atoms and molecules, and cells, but appropriate supports can make up for any deficits.
Teacher Guide (6 pages)
Student Activity Sheets (4 pages)
Class Pages (1 page)
includes Answer Key
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