Lesson Plans & Activities

Flow of Energy

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This lesson is designed with my future 7th grade science class in mind. It is a multi-day set of lessons, and includes a short group activity, an individual project, and a lab.
We begin by discussing photosynthesis. I created a Prezi (located here:http://prezi.com/opfbxgq8yqdv/photosynthesis/)and as we go through this Prezi, students complete the Photosynthesis worksheet. They color in the elements (either you pick the colors or they do) using the key at the bottom. This will walk them through the requirements for photosynthesis (light, water, co2) and introduce a few plant parts (chlorophyll, xylem, stoma).
Afterwards, students (in groups) are given a set of connectable cubes (if you don't have these, you can use fuzzy pom poms, colored squares, anything that has a few different colors) to create 6 molecules of water and 6 of carbon dioxide. You then ask them to take only those 12 molecules, and make a molecule of glucose (C6H12O6, there is a diagram on the Photosynthesis worksheet). They break apart the water and carbon dioxide and put the pieces together for glucose, just like if they were a plant doing photosynthesis. This allows them to visualize a somewhat abstract concept. It also shows them that Oxygen is left over, which is how plants breathe out Oxygen!

The lesson then proceeds to Food Chains/Webs/Energy Pyramids. It covers Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers, and how they are organized into Chains and Webs. The lesson is summed up with an individual project.
Students choose their favorite meal (needs to have a main dish, a side dish, and a drink). They then break the foods down into their plant origins. French fries would be potatoes and vegetable oil (corn, canola, sunflower, etc). Chicken would trace back to Corn, wheat, ruffage, etc. They create a food web for their entire meal. An example is on the last slide of the Mimio. This is a personalized way of learning about the flow of energy.

Somewhere in between when we learn about photosynthesis, and when we begin Food Webs/Chains, we will do a lab to learn about stoma. This lab idea is well-documented on the internet, but I will provide a summation.

Students gather a few plant leaves (recommendations for type of leaves can be found by googling) in two different ways. First, from plants that have been in the sun, and second, from plants that have been in the dark. They paint clear nail polish on the under sides of those leaves and allow it to dry. The teacher who introduced me to this lab allows it to dry for a full day. Others online say it only needs a few moments to dry. Once dry, they carefully peel off the polish and put these peelings on microscope slides. They look at these peelings and will be able to see the imprints of leaf stoma.

A second lab done after we talk about Food Webs/Chains and especially decomposers is one in which students create a compost inside a 2 liter coke bottle. This lab fits the (B) TEKS that is missing below.

The TEKS for this lesson are as follows:

(5) Matter and energy. The student knows that interactions occur between matter and energy. The student is expected to:

(A) recognize that radiant energy from the Sun is transformed into chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis; and

(C) diagram the flow of energy through living systems, including food chains, food webs, and energy pyramids.

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MsKatsScienceClass Posted by: MsKatsScienceClass

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06/04/2014 - 1:27am