Based on a “Carbon Adventures” lesson plan developed by the GK-12 Project at Arizona State University. For details on the original activity, go to (http://gk12.asu.edu/curriculum/life_science/CarbonAdventures/carb_ad.htm). There is excellent background information on the carbon cycle in the “Lesson Plan” document on the right side of the page.
This discussion uses a board game activity to simulate the cycling of carbon through the environment. Students play the game and should discover that carbon can take many forms and that there is not a set path through the carbon cycle. Afterwards, the class as a whole spends 5-10 minutes discussing the major points the game is intended to draw out.
Timing (35 min)
5 min – Review carbon cycle, arrange students into groups, and walk through the directions (steps 1-4)
15 min – Students play game (steps 5-7)
15 min (3 min per question) – Discuss each of the discussion questions in turn (step 8)
- What is the importance of plants in the carbon cycle? Answer: There are many but one of the most important is that plants are where inorganic carbon in the atmosphere is transformed into organic carbon and enters the biotic realm.
- How many possible paths are there for a carbon atom to move through the environment? Answer: a LOT. There are many different paths a carbon atom can take.
- What happens to the carbon atom as it moves from 1 pool to another? Give an example. Answer: the carbon atom stays the same but undergoes chemical reactions to combine with different other atoms and thus form new molecules when it goes to a new pool.
- Name some places where carbon appears to “get stuck” in a pool and not move for some time. Why might this be? Answer: carbon tends to “get stuck” in the atmosphere and in fossil fuels. Carbon can remain in these forms for many millions of years.
- Humans have a big influence on the carbon cycle. What would the carbon cycle be like without humans? What is our impact on the carbon cycle? Answer: Our biggest effect is on the burning of fossil fuels. Slide #4 reviews this with the students.
|Ecol1 Carbon cycle.ppt||1.1 MB|