Carbon Cycle Teacher Resources

Find Carbon Cycle educational ideas and activities

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Science learners go from station to station in a game modeling the stages of the carbon cycle. They discover that carbon can be found throughout Earth's crust, waters, and atmosphere. The game is played a second time, but now with the impact of fossil fuel use, deforestation, and other carbon-dioxide-emitting activities. If you are up for the learning curve of understanding the playing rules, then you are in for a well-rounded lesson!
Using a jigsaw approach, earth science experts teach each other about the physical, biological, and geologic components of the carbon cycle, with a specific focus on the ocean. 
Carbon is all around us, as shown in this cartoon animation. The carbon cycle is portrayed simply and accurately with fun cartoon plants and animals. Use this video in an elementary or junior high class to facilitate your learners' understanding of the carbon cycle.
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 activity culminates as the class creates informational posters describing the cycle, ways humans negatively impact the carbon cycle, and ways they can improve it. 
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.
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.
This animated cartoon is a great resource to show your middle school learners as they study the carbon cycle. Each step is explained and shown simply for your young scientists. Human impact is also portrayed to encourage environmental awareness.
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, 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.
Young scholars 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.
Learners study the carbon cycle and how the energy from the sun is used.  In this carbon lesson students draw a diagram of the carbon cycle. 
Four Brits embark upon their own personal cycling tour in order to understand the carbon cycle and how we can live a low-carbon lifestyle. Local food is sought out along with other ways to reduce one's carbon footprint. Encourage your environmental scientists to treat this world with respect and do their best to take care of it.
Students 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 study the carbon cycle and how it cycles through our environment.  In this carbon cycle lesson 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.
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!
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. 
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.
For this complex game about the carbon cycle, the playing field is divided into air, living, and earth zones. Children are assigned to be either plants or animals, and collect carbon tokens as they proceed from zone to zone. While the concepts are most often taught in middle school earth science, this game may prove to be boring for them, and while the publisher mentions primary grades, the concepts may be above them.

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Carbon Cycle