Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are two of the most important processes on earth. Without them, life couldn’t exist. However, they’re topics that can be difficult to teach without going into too much or too little depth. Finding that sweet spot can be tricky.
To help in my own classroom, I made this 5E lesson to allow my students to gain a deeper understanding of both processes while not diving too deep into the chemistry of the reactions. I wanted to provide a lot of hands-on activities to keep them engaged while at the same time, I needed to keep the content as concise and to the point as possible so that it could be understood by someone in grades 8-10. This 5E process works really well in my classroom and I know it will work well in yours.
During the unit, your students will learn to:
• describe what occurs during photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
• understand the importance of photosynthesis and cellular respiration to the survival of living things.
• 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.
• develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.
• explain the chemical changes and energy transformations associated with the process of photosynthesis, and compare the reactants (i.e., carbon dioxide, radiant energy, water) to the products (i.e., glucose, oxygen)
Why are 5E lessons so effective in the classroom today?
• They emphasize inquiry, critical thinking, and the process of science.
• The success of the 5E model is backed by countless scientific studies that demonstrate its effectiveness.
• It is built around the idea that humans construct knowledge and meaning from their learning experiences. That they build upon their prior knowledge and to be effective, learning needs to be active and allow the participants to construct new knowledge from their experiences
What’s included in the 5E bundle?
Each 5E lesson bundle includes 5 key phases. Engagement, Elaboration, Explanation, Elaborate, and Evaluate. Within this bundle, you’ll find the following components.
This fully editable Lab Station Activity on Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis is meant to get your students out of their seats and engaged in the content. Each station not only offers a unique opportunity to test your students’ knowledge (offer an opinion, answer questions based on a video or reading, draw, etc.), but also provides a fantastic learning opportunity where your kids are learning through assessment. Each station comes with a description card while some also contain more detailed instructions, a reading, questions to answer, etc. Students are equipped with a recording sheet (passport) to write their answers. There is almost no prep for you. Simply print the cards, lay them out around the room and you’re all set. An answer key is also provided where applicable.
How do the Lab Stations work?
Each station is specially designed to be a unique complement to the material while at the same time, provide a valuable learning experience. Below is an overview of how each station works. In your activity, each will be tailored to the specific content.
Station 1: Get Hands-On – using their creative skills, students are required to draw or build.
Station 2: Research – using a classroom computer or their own device, students must research a specific question/issue surrounding the topic.
Station 3: Explain yourself – students write down an opinion to a question in paragraph form.
Station 4: Rest Station – students can use this time to catch up on work they didn’t have time to complete at a previous station or prepare themselves for an upcoming one.
Station 5 – Applicability reading – students read a short passage from an article, website, etc. which directly connects the classroom content to a real-life application.
Station 6: Test your knowledge – students answer 5 multiple choice questions then provide a written explanation for how/why they came to their conclusions.
Station 7: Learn from the expert – using a classroom computer or their own device, students must watch a short video clip and answer the associated questions. They may stop, rewind and restart as often as they like during the time frame.
Station 8 – Rest Station.
Station 9: Become the question master – Students must create 2 multiple-choice questions, 2 true/false questions and 1 short answer question. Students must also supply the answers.
Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis Lesson package – This 28 slide Introductory Biology PowerPoint Lesson package discuss both Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis as well as how they are linked. It is geared toward students who are unfamiliar with both processes.
It outlines the structures of mitochondria and chloroplasts and the variety of pigments found within plants which cause them to change color in the fall. It briefly talks about why energy/ATP is needed inside the cell as well as outlines the importance of photosynthesis for life on Earth and lastly, it compares the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. The processes are laid out in a clear and easy to follow manner with many diagrams, explanations, and pictures. It includes the lesson (student and teacher versions of the PowerPoint), 2 embedded videos, a student activity with a marking rubric & answer key and a student lesson handout as a word document which follows the PowerPoint. This lesson is designed for an entry/introductory level biology course.
Included in the lesson package is:
– The teacher version of the PowerPoint
– The student version of the PowerPoint
– 2 videos embedded into the PowerPoint
– Student Activity with rubric and answer key
– Student lesson handout
In order, the lesson covers:
– Earth’s energy budget
– Cellular energy (ATP)
– Solar energy
– Photosynthesis vs. Cellular Respiration
– Photosynthesis and life
This activity is the coolest thing I’ve created and your kids are going to love it, mine do. Think of a scavenger hunt, then add devices (Smartphones, Chromebooks, Laptops, or Tablets), engaged students, and learning through assessment and you have this resource.
Quick Disclaimer. In order to use this activity, your classroom must have at least 1 device per 3 students. Smartphones, Chromebooks, Laptops, and Tablets will all work perfectly. The wording and delivery make this resource perfect for a wide range of grade levels. If for some reason you feel this hunt isn’t perfect for your classroom, I’m happy to refund your purchase no questions asked.
The Content Includes:
• The importance of photosynthesis and cellular respiration
• An introduction to how each occurs
• The structures involved in each
• Which organisms do each process and why
• What would happen if one or both processes stopped
• Practical applications
If you’d like to purchase this resource, please click here to be directed to the Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration 5E product page.