The Carbon Cycle

This The Carbon Cycle lesson plan also includes:

There is 30 percent more carbon in the atmosphere today than there was 150 years ago. The first lesson in the four-part series teaches classes about the carbon cycle. Over two to three days, classes make a model of the cycle, add missing components after viewing other models, and finish by playing a game. Taking on the role of a carbon atom, they work their way through the cycle by flipping a coin to move. The lesson ends with a discussion based upon their experiences. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Between the modeling of the cycle and the game, classes need to discuss the carbon cycle teachers know pupils are working with the correct information
Classroom Considerations
  • Activity assumes learners possess knowledge about the different levels of consumers, detritus feeders, and decomposers as well as photosynthesis and cellular respiration
  • Duration of lesson could easily be two class periods
  • The activity is easy to set up because it requires few materials
  • Lesson includes four questions for individuals to answer; teachers can use this as an assessment
  • None
Common Core