When I teach students about the plant cell and how it is able to use the sun's energy to combine molecules of carbon dioxide and water to create glucose for energy, I tend to lose them at the word "molecules". An abstract concept like this requires more than just a brief summary. I've found that students do best when introduced to a concept in a variety of ways.
I'm a sucker for a good BrainPop video. Tim and Moby crack me up. I always start this unit by watching their video on photosynthesis. Next I make the analogy between photosynthesis and a recipe. Oh, the stories I tell about how I CANNOT make a meal to save my life. I burn boiled eggs. Yes, I am a failure in the kitchen. If only I could be a chloroplast and make my own food from two ingredients. HA! Students take notes and we work to fill out a recipe card for photosynthesis.
here. It's free and definitely a favorite every year! Students build molecules of water and carbon dioxide. Then they "photosynthesize" by breaking apart the molecules and forming a molecules of glucose, water and oxygen.
Where I struggle is how to determine if students understand what was taught. This year I tried something different from a formal written test. I started class by placing this cartoon on the board. I asked students to talk with their groups and come up with an explanation for the image.
How perfect is this one? Water and oxygen "combine" (4) to make glucose.
My all time favorite is the adorable smiling chloroplast delivering an order of glucose to the plant. I was busting out laughing in the middle of class when I saw this one. Such creativity!
Note: If you're interested in the template for the flip-flap interactive notebook activity, check out my TpT store here.