1 class periods of 60 minutes each
A teacher demonstration using dry ice and student acting introduces students to the carbon cycle.
- rubber glove
- dry ice
- 7 balloons
- clear plastic bag
- 9 150 ml beakers
- (optional: cow, sun, tree, ocean, atmosphere, decomposer and rock costumes)
- When students come into class hide some dry ice somewhere. Pull it out and ask them what it is. ( You may want to think of some creative way to do this)
- Ask them how we could prove this was carbon dioxide? You may need to lead them to the idea of a burning splint.
- Give each table a small piece of dry ice and a beaker.
- Let each table test the classes hypothesis, point out to students that they are watching carbon change forms. Carbon is a type of matter.
- Challenge the students to think of other sources of carbon dioxide in the classroom
- Have them test their hypotheses (they should come to the conclusion of breathing)
- Collect the dry ice. Make sure to collect all of it! Students love to walk off with it!
- Take a small chunk and place it in a rubber glove, this is a good visual and can double as an "udder" for the cow!
- Ask for 7 student volunteers. One to represent each of the following:
Sun, plant, cow, atmosphere, rocks, ocean, decomposer
- Instruct students to dress in their costumes
- Using the balloons as carbon molecules demonstrate the matter cycle
- Make sure to point out the reservoirs.
- Repeat the cycle with the students several times
- Have the students complete the cycle without any direction from you
- Have each student get out a blank sheet of paper, with no help from their neighbors they should try to diagram the carbon cycle
- Have them switch papers with their neighbors and make any corrections they feel need to be made
- Switch papers once more and make any extra corrections or additions the student felt was missed.
- Switch papers once more
- Ask students to raise their hand if they think the paper in front of them is correct.
- Quickly assess how well you think students grasp the concept.
- Ask 3 students to come draw the cycle on the board.
- As a class choose the correct cycle, or make any modifications necessary to have a complete diagram.
- Discuss how the carbon is changing forms.
- Ask how they think this cycle is similar and different if it were to take place in the ocean?
- Have students then brainstorm a list of ways humans have influenced the carbon cycle
Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.