Includes fun, effective activities with easy supplies and an engaging cumulative project on the cycling of matter in ecosystems.
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Supports NGSS Standards MS-LS1-6 and MS-LS2-3.
Photosynthesis & Respiration Cloze Notes: Contains overhead notes for photosynthesis and respiration, and corresponding cloze worksheet notes that the students fill in as the notes are given. Middle school teacher favorite!
Modeling Photosynthesis w/Beads Activity: Students use pony beads of different colors (representing H, O, and C) and pipe cleaners to build the materials needed for each process. They then put them in a "mitochondria" or "chloroplast" (you can use your imagine for this), and rearrange the beads to make the products. Includes an analysis section.
Photosynthesis/Respiration Sorting Activity: Effectively shows students the cyclical nature of photosynthesis and respiration. This resource highlights that the atoms involved are the same atoms, just rearranged. This activity is highly engaging and effective for true comprehension. Students use pony beads of different colors (representing H, O, and C) and pipe cleaners to build the materials needed for each process. They then put them in a "mitochondria" or "chloroplast" (you can use your imagine for this), and rearrange the beads to make the products. Includes an analysis section.
Blow Up a Balloon with Respiration Activity: This is a very engaging lab (with worksheet) in which middle school students can watch a balloon get blown up by yeast performing respiration. The materials are simple, cheap, and easy to obtain, but it is one of the most talked about labs all year! Take it further by demonstrating that you can put out a match with the carbon dioxide in the balloon! The lab paper includes an introduction, materials list, the procedure and discussion questions.
Carbon Cycle Drawing Activity: Students create a drawing of the carbon cycle as they read blurbs about what is happening during the carbon cycle. Includes respiration, photosynthesis, ocean absorption of carbon dioxide, decaying organisms, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the burning of fossil fuels. Does not include the term "carbon fixation". Could be used as an in class assignment or a short term take home project.
Cycles of Matter in Ecosystems Cumulative Project: This assignment supports students' understanding of the cyclical nature of photosynthesis and respiration, and how carbon cycles through the living and non-living parts of an ecosystem. Students are assigned to either make a diorama or a hanging mobile to represent this cycle. Clear, student-friendly instructions are given, and an easy-to-follow rubric is included. At the end of the document there are a few pictures of prior projects for you to take a look at or show your students.
Also check out our best-selling Ecosystems Test.
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