Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Photosynthesis, and supports the standard of explaining the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of energy in and out of organisms. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display an image of a plant, like this one:

Ask students:

  • What do you think makes this plant green?
  • What does this plant need to survive? 
  • How does it get its energy? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read the description on the Photosynthesis topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the three Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE

Students express what they learned about photosynthesis while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a movie from the point of view of a plant. Have the plant  explain what it needs to survive, and how it produces energy. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying how plants use sunlight, air, and water.  (Essential  Literacy Skill: Cite specific evidence to support conclusions)
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts representing each part of a plant and its role in photosynthesis. (Essential  Literacy Skill: Cite specific evidence to support conclusions)
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze images of plant cells and use evidence to answer accompanying questions. (Essential Literacy Skill: Integrate content presented in diverse formats)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Photosynthesis Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Photosynthesis Quiz.

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of plant life with these topics: Plant Growth, Seed Plants, and Seedless Plants. 

Additional Support Resources:

 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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