As a high school or undergraduate Chemistry or Earth Sciences teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching topics in environmental chemistry such as the carbon cycle or biogeochemical cycles.
This lesson plan allows students to understand the carbon cycle, its components, and the flow among the different components of this biogeochemical cycle. The activity will introduce the link between the carbon cycle and climate. It will also explore how human activity (such as increased fossil fuel use) may affect the natural carbon cycle, and may thus cause climate-related changes.
Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Chemistry.
Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:
- What is the role of weathering of rocks in the carbon cycle? What are the chemical reactions in this process?
- Which components in the carbon cycle act as carbon sinks?
- If fossil fuel usage increases, what would be the effect on the different carbon sinks? What would be the possible changes in the Earth’s climate?
- What are the possible impacts of deforestation on the natural carbon cycle? How might these changes affect the Earth’s climate?
Carbon Cycle by IPCC
About Lesson Plan
|Grade Level||High School, Undergraduate|
|Topic(s) in Discipline||• Environmental Chemistry
• Carbon Cycle
• Biogeochemical Cycles
|Climate Topic||Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms|
|Approximate Time Required||120-160 min|
|Interactive diagram (~30 min)||An interactive diagram that introduces the global carbon cycle, its components, and the flow among the various components through video clips and images.
|Reading (20 – 30 min)||A reading that provides an overview of the carbon cycle, and explains the link between the carbon cycle and the Earth’s climate.|
|Classroom/ Laboratory activity
(Simulation and associated exercises) (60 – 90 min)
|A classroom/laboratory activity using an interactive simulation and associated exercises to explore and analyze how human activities may affect the natural carbon cycle, and to discuss the potential effects on the Earth’s climate.
|1.Introduce the topic through an interactive diagram||
|2. Read about the topic||
|3. Conduct a classroom/ laboratory activity||