Pedagogy in Action > Library > Interactive Lecture Demonstrations > Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations > Why is Chlorophyll Green?

Why is Chlorophyll Green?

This page authored by Scott Cooper, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with several links to websites with other authors.
Author Profile
This material was originally developed through Merlot
as part of its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.

Summary

This is an out of class exercise that allows students to explore biological molecules that contain heme like molecules with metals bound in them. The properties of these molecules give them different colors and functions, but all are related evolutionarily.

Learning Goals

Students should learn the function of chlorophyll and heme, the role metal ions play in these reactions, and the properties of color.

Context for Use

We use this as an out of class assignment in a large lecture non-majors biology course. The students then take an online quiz to test if they have mastered the concepts in the activity.

Description and Teaching Materials

The details are in the attached file. The activity consists of a one page description of why plants are green, meat is red and crustacean blood is blue. There are embedded links and questions for the students to answer.
Why is Cholorphyll Green? (Microsoft Word 33kB Jun26 09)

Chlorophyll quiz (Microsoft Word 36kB Aug28 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

We use this as an out of class assignment in a large lecture non-majors biology course. The students then take an online quiz to test if they have mastered the concepts in the activity.

Assessment

The students take an online quiz to test if they have mastered the concepts in the activity. You could also have them answer the questions and turn them in for grading if you have a smaller class size.

References and Resources

The links are in the attached file.

See more Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations »