MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Energy Flow through Organisms: An Introduction to Photosynthesis and Respiration

Energy Flow through Organisms: An Introduction to Photosynthesis and Respiration

Brad Snyder, (Robbinsdale Middle School, Robbinsdale, MN)

Summary

In this life science classroom activity, students will use cooperative learning and whole class discussions to be introduced to the concept of energy flow through organisms. Students will use previous knowledge and available resources (science notebook, textbook, other books/journals) to analyze an organism and its environment, and understand the flow of energy and the basic processes of photosynthesis and respiration.


Learning Goals

This activity was designed for students to understand how energy flows through organisms.

Concepts:

Analyzing an organism and its environment, energy flow through organisms, and the processes of photosynthesis and respiration.

Vocabulary:

-Producer
-Consumer
-Photosynthesis
-Respiration

Context for Use

This activity was developed as part of the Ecology unit for 7th grade Life Science classes.
Classroom activity - whole class discussions and cooperative learning in small groups of 2 or 3.
Time needed: 1 or 2 days.
Prior to this activity, students should understand needs of organisms, how to analyze an organism and its environment, and the basics of energy.

Subject: Biology:Cell Biology:Cell Processes:Metabolism:Photosynthesis, Biology:Ecology, Cell Cell Processes:Metabolism:Respiration
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Middle (6-8)

Description and Teaching Materials

I developed this lesson for students to work in small groups and utilize previous knowledge and available resources (science notebook, textbook, etc.) to discover and construct knowledge for themselves. I started out by introducing the lesson, handing out the packets, and developing small groups. I brought in various types of plants for students to use for page 2 of the packet. As students worked, I walked around the room monitoring their progress and helped out as needed. For each page we would have a whole class discussion to verify everyone understood the concepts. I gave the students some time to work on the processes of photosynthesis and respiration then I brought the whole class together and utilized questioning till they understood these concepts.

This lesson was part of the Ecology unit I developed for Student Teaching. Prior to this lesson, I did a lesson on Needs of Organisms (want vs. need), Analyzing an organism and its environment (what moves between an organism and its environment?, using human organism as an example), and the Basics of Energy (energy changes from one form to another, energy flows through organisms). So this lesson was a continuation of the previous lesson. Student Lesson Packet (Microsoft Word 29kB Sep15 08) Lesson packet with teaching notes (Microsoft Word 30kB Sep15 08)

Teaching Notes and Tips

None

Assessment

I used this lesson as a formative assessment (participation, completion of packet, understanding of concepts).

Standards

7.IV.F - Flow of energy through organisms
7.IV.F.1 - Photosynthesis
7.IV.F.5 - Producer and Consumer

References and Resources

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