In this active demonstration, students will model the carbon cycle, and consider way in which human actions play a role. If you think your students would do better with a lesson where they are able to move around the classroom, see the Extension section for an alternate version of this lesson.
We suggest using the What Contains Carbon? If you do not have time for this activity, review with your students that carbon is a common element on earth. Have students recall some of the things in their daily lives that contain carbon. Make a list of these items on the board, lesson plans and role play. The carbon atoms move from one thing to another in what is called the carbon cycle. Parts of the carbon cycle happen very quickly, like when plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for photosynthesis.
But, other parts of the carbon cycle happen lesson plans and role play slowly. Tell students that in this activity, they will learn how carbon moves from one place to another, by performing a carbon cycle role-play. Explain that they can give their carbon to only one other group, or if they have plenty, they can give the carbon to more than one group.
Explain that carbon exists in all of these things at the same time and only a portion of the carbon in each thing moves. As they move their carbon, they must say their script lines to explain the carbon movement that they have chosen.
Humans extract and burn fossil fuels for energy carbon moves from the sediments and rocks where fossil fuels are buried into the atmosphere.
Humans cut and burn trees to use land for farming, ranching, or building carbon moves from the land plants into the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels takes carbon from sediments and rocks prime and composite lesson plans fossil fuels are buried and puts it into the atmosphere because when fossil fuels are burned they release carbon-containing gases.
Cutting and burning trees takes carbon from the land plants and puts it into the atmosphere because when trees are burned, the carbon that was stored in their structures is released as carbon-containing gases. If you are working towards Performance Expectations 5-LS or MS-LS or HS-LS regarding developing a model to describe the movement of matter among living and non-living parts of an ecosystemremember that students are not expected to demonstrate understanding of molecular movement or describe the process using chemical reactions.
The emphasis for middle school is on the geologic process of the rock cycle, and the emphasis in high school is on how biogeochemical cycles that include the cycling of carbon through the ocean, atmosphere, soil, and biosphere including humansprovide the foundation for living organisms.
Carbon is an important element for life on earth and can be found in all four major spheres of the planet: Carbon is found in both the living and non-living parts of the planet, as a component in organisms, atmospheric gases, water, and rocks. The carbon moves from one sphere to another in an ongoing process known as the carbon cycle. Besides the relatively small additions of carbon from meteorites, the total carbon on Earth is stable.
But, lesson plans and role play amount of carbon in any given sphere of the planet can increase or decrease depending on the fluctuations of the carbon cycle. The cycle can be thought of in terms of reservoirs places where carbon is stored and flows the movement between reservoirs. Although carbon is relatively common on earth, pure carbon is not. Carbon is usually bound to other elements in compounds. Thus, the carbon cycle, includes many carbon-containing compounds, such lesson plans and role play carbon dioxide, sugars, and methane.
The many processes that move carbon from one place to another happen on different time scales. Some of them happen on short time scales, such as photosynthesis, which moves carbon from the atmosphere into the biosphere as plants extract carbon from lesson plans and role play atmosphere.
Some carbon cycle processes happen over much longer time hydrchlorothiazide and coumadin reaction. For example, lesson plans and role play, when marine organisms with calcium carbonate skeletons and shells die, some lesson plans and role play their remains sink towards the ocean floor.
There, lesson plans and role play, the carbon that was stored in their bodies becomes part of the carbon-rich sediment and is eventually carried along, via plate tectonic movement, lesson plans and role play, to subduction zones where it is converted into metamorphic rock.
These two examples show the extreme variety of processes that take place in the carbon cycle. In general, the short-term carbon cycle encompasses photosynthesis, respiration, and predator-prey transfer of carbon. On land, there is a flow of carbon from the atmosphere to plants with photosynthesis and then a flow back to the atmosphere with plant and animal respiration and decomposition.
For aquatic plants, photosynthesis involves taking carbon from carbon dioxide dissolved in the water around them, lesson plans and role play.
Carbon dioxide is also constantly moving between the atmosphere and water via diffusion. The long-term carbon cycle involves more of the lithospheric processes. It includes the weathering and erosion of carbon-containing rocks, the accumulation of carbon-rich plant and animal material in sediments, and the slow movement of those sediments through the rock cycle.
There are natural fluctuations in the carbon cycle, but humans have been changing the carbon flows on earth at an unnatural rate. The major human-induced changes result in increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, lesson plans and role play. The largest source of this change is burning fossil fuels, but other actions such as deforestation and cement manufacturing also contribute to this change in the carbon cycle.
Because carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases that help to control the temperature of the planet, the human-induced increase in atmospheric carbon levels is resulting in a host of climatic changes on our planet. Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system. Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems Matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die.
Organisms obtain gases, and water, from the environment, and release waste matter gas, liquid, or solid back into the environment. Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments.
The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Weather and Climate Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate. Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important components of the carbon cycle, in which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere through chemical, physical, lesson plans and role play, and biological processes.
Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems. Remember, performance expectations are not a set of instructional or assessment tasks. They are statements of what students should be able to do after instruction. This activity or unit is just one of many that could help prepare your students to perform the following hypothetical tasks that demonstrate their understanding:.
Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere, lesson plans and role play.
Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. Upper Saddle River, NJ: An Introduction to Physical Geology. What kinds feline diabetes and resources everyday objects contain carbon?
This introductory activity will help you get it straight! Can you create a model of how carbon flows between the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere? Stay curious—every Thursday at NightLife.
Sign up for event updates and exciting announcements. Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability. Buy online and save! California Academy of Sciences. K-1st 2nd-3rd 4th-5th 6th-8th 9thth. Explore an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof. Students will be able to: Read through the Role Play Summary Table at the end of the lesson to get a better understanding of the specific flows your students will be learning. Note that the entire carbon cycle is composed of even more specific flows between the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere than those discussed here.
This role-play teaches an age-appropriate version of the carbon cycle. Collect of the small, lightweight objects that will represent carbon e. Print double-sided role-play cards. Designate a large open space for this activity. If working outside, lesson plans and role play, use chalk to draw out the regions shown below, lesson plans and role play. If in the classroom, draw a picture on the board of the three regions and designate different kindergarten lesson plans and animals of the classroom to represent the ocean, the land, and the atmosphere.
View tables and diagrams. Divide students evenly into 7 groups and distribute the appropriate role-play card monitoring and control plan each group, lesson plans and role play.
The table provided at the end of the lesson plan summarizes all the groups, their options for carbon flow, the explanation for each carbon flow, and their script lines.
Distribute ping pong balls to each group and explain that these represent carbon atoms. One at a time, ask each group to give their carbon to another group or groups.
Run the role-play a number of times, telling students to make different choices about carbon movement each time. If you have time, consider running the following variations: Have all the groups moving their carbon at the same time: Have one person from each group be the deliverer of carbon and the other group members remain to receive carbon from other groups, lesson plans and role play.
Tell students that this is a more chaotic, but more realistic acting out of the carbon cycle, since in the real world carbon moves between all these areas at the same time.
Trace the journeys of only few carbon atoms: Use only one carbon atom ping pong ball lesson plans and role play start it with one group, lesson plans and role play. Each group that gets the atom makes a decision about where it goes next.