Carbon Cycle Teacher Resources

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Humans can have a big impact on the environment, specifically the influence they have on the carbon cycle. First, the class will define and discuss each of the earths four major spheres, the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. Then, they will turn their attention to the carbon cycle as it is influenced by human choices and how human choice interacts within each of the four spheres. The instructional activity culminates as the class creates informational posters describing the cycle, ways humans negatively impact the carbon cycle, and ways they can improve it. 
Anytime you make concepts clear with role playing or hands-on experience, it's a win for the whole class. Ping-Pong balls are used to represent carbon in a carbon cycle role-play activity. In small groups, children first discuss what carbon is and how it moves through each of Earth's spheres. They show how carbon moves by drawing a card and acting out the movement of the carbon as described on the card. This is a great visual way to represent the carbon cycle!
Does the carbon cycle play a role in climate change? Your class will investigate what fossil fuels are and how they release carbon into the atmosphere. They get an opportunity to understand the causes of green house gases and global warming through the chemical process. A role-play activity and allegorical story are used help children conceptualize the process, then a class mural is created to illustrate the carbon cycle from dead forest to mining, to the air. A writing prompt is used to assess student comprehension. Note: The lesson activities seem more appropriate for a younger audience.
An online reading and interactive game bring the path of a carbon molecule to life for your earth science explorers! As an assessment, learners can map out or write about their experience in the carbon cycle. Thoroughly written background information and links to related lessons and other resources are provided to help you easily develop a mini unit on the atmosphere and climate change.
Students investigate the process of the carbon cycle. In this biology lesson, students take soil sample and calculate the amount of carbon found in the soil. They examine level of carbons in marine life and plants.
Students play a game. In this carbon cycle lesson plan, students read The Carbon Cycle, list places where carbon is found on Earth, brainstorm why carbon is important and play an online interactive game.
Students explore the carbon cycle. In this carbon cycle lesson, students discuss the four main reservoirs where carbon is stored and then discover the process through which each reservoir absorbs and releases CO2. This lesson includes a hands on experiment, class discussion, an activity and extensions.
Learners outline the steps involved in the Carbon cycle. In this earth science lesson, students classify items according to whether they contain carbon or not. They write a short story about a given scenario on their journal.
Students study the carbon cycle and how the energy from the sun is used.  In this carbon instructional activity students draw a diagram of the carbon cycle. 
Young scholars examine the carbon cycle and how carbon atoms travel through it.  In this energy cycles lesson students describe how human activities affect the carbon cycle. 
Students recognize that carbon cycles naturally through living and non-living parts of the Earth system in a complex and non-linear way. They study the carbon cycle through an online game.
Learners examine the carbon cycle while identifying its sources, sinks, and release agents. Using magazines and newspapers, groups of students design collages illustrating the carbon cycle. Finally, they write responses to several discussion questions.
Pupils study the carbon cycle and how it cycles through our environment.  In this carbon cycle instructional activity students play a game that allows them to discover that carbon can take many forms and that there is not a set path.
Fifth graders examine the carbon cycle, periodic table, and photosynthesis and respiration. They analyze the periodic table and how it is organized, then complete the "Elementary, Dear Watson" worksheet. Students then examine a carbon cycle sketch.
Hear how carbon functions on our earth and the purpose it serves. The carbon cycle is illustrated with narration for your junior high or high school biologists. Global temperature increase is also included, though the clip cuts off before solutions are offered. Brainstorm possible solutions with your class.
Students learn about the biological carbon cycle. In this carbon cycle lesson, students access the web site and mouse over the diagrams to follow the carbon cycle. They read about what happens to humans and plants during this cycle.
Meteorologists view an animated video by the Environmental Protection Agency to learn how the carbon cycle works, and then move into groups to analyze and graph actual data of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration from Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory. The class discusses patterns and discovers that the concentration varies with the seasons and that, over the years, the annual average value has been increasing. Discuss with your class the reasons behind seasonal variation and global warming. 
So how does the carbon cycle work? Kids participate in a hands-on activity that allows them to understand the chemistry behind climate change and global warming. They act out the process of photosynthesis by labeling themselves as chemicals moving in and out of a plant. They form chemical bonds by linking arms to create different molecules that change from carbon dioxide to oxygen. To evaluate understanding, they respond to several prompts in writing. The concrete manner in which the topic is conveyed is great for both younger and older students.
Students examine the carbon dioxide cycle in the atmosphere. In this element lesson, students discuss the relationship between carbon dioxide on Earth and the plants that store it. Students play a game to ensure their understanding. 
Humans are quickly depleting Earth's fossil fuels and locating them is becoming increasingly difficult! Layered muffins are used for models as young geologists take core samples in order to determine the presence of oil. Consider first teaching about the carbon cycle and fossil fuels to give youngsters the background knowledge that will make this activity more meaningful. Be aware that significant preparation time is required as the teacher must bake the special muffins for the activity, but it will be well worth the time!

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