The Photosynthesis activities were designed to occur over 3 days with one lecture and one lab activity. All the activities were designed for a 55 min class period. The photosynthesis lecture focuses on the evolution of oxygen and how it has changed over Earth’s history. The lab activity allows the students to connect real world observations to the photosynthesis and respiration equations.

  • The evolution of oxygen in the atmosphere is a result of photosynthesis.
  • Cyanobacteria in the ocean were the first to carry out oxygenic photosynthesis.
  • Photosynthesis is a process that consumes carbon dioxide and produces oxygen.
  • The carbon and oxygen cycles are connected.
  • Day 1: Introduction to carbon, oxygen and photosynthesis.
  • Day 2: Photosynthesis lab.
  • Day 3: Conclusions of Photosynthesis lab.
  • This activity was designed for 9th grade earth science students and can be used in any science class from middle school to high school.
  • All lecture and activities are designed to be completed in one 55 min class period.
  • The unit was taught over a 3 day time span.
  • This unit was taught after the Early Earth activities.
  • Students were familiar with the idea that photosynthesis is how Earth obtained oxygen gas in the atmosphere.
  • Students were also familiar with the atmospheric composition of gases.
  • No homework assignments are associated with this section of the unit.
  • The students were assigned appropriate reading from the textbook during the unit.
  • Each lab activity has questions at the end to aid the students in understanding key concepts.
  • For each activity a list of vocabulary words were defined at the beginning of the worksheet.
  • A list of supplies is included in the teacher notes, if the supplies cannot be supplied the data obtained from the lab is available.
  • This introductory lesson is a power point presentation that will require one 55 min class period.
  • Students are advised to take notes for all the slides with green titles.
  • This lesson is broken up by one demonstration and several posed questions.
  • After the lecture a description of the procedures for the photosynthesis lab occurred.
  • This is ideal as there is little time to describe lab procedure during the lab.
  • This lab requires a whole 55 min class period.
  • The students should be familiar with the lab instruments they are using prior to this lab.
  • Students will be able to observe the production and the consumption of oxygen during this lab.
  • The wrap up of the lab should take about half of a 55 min class period.
  • The students will be able to synthesize the information they obtained the previous day and compare it to real world observations.

Effects of Photosynthesis

Related Biogeochemistry Lessons
Lesson Specifics
  • Grade Level: 9
  • Time Frame: All the activities were designed for a 55 min class period.
  • California Science Standard 7: "Each element on Earth moves among reservoirs, which exist in the solid earth, in oceans, in the atmosphere, and within and among organisms as part of biogeochemical cycles."
  • California Science Standard 1C: "Students know the evidence from geological studies of Earth and other planets suggest that the early Earth was very different from Earth today."
  • California Science Standard 4B: "Students know the fate of incoming solar radiation in terms of reflection, absorption, and photosynthesis."
  • California Science Standard 8B: "Students know how the composition of Earth’s atmosphere has evolved over geologic time and know the effect of outgassing, the variations of carbon dioxide concentration, and the origin of atmospheric oxygen."
  • Investigation and experimentation standards 1A: "Select and use appropriate tools and technology (such as computer-linked probes, spreadsheets, and graphing calculators) to perform tests, collect data, analyze relationships, and display data."
  • Investigation and experimentation standards 1D: "Formulate explanations by using logic and evidence."
  • Investigation and experimentation standards 1L: "Analyze situations and solve problems that require combining and applying concepts from more than one area of science."

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