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5E Learning Cycle Lesson Plan Template

Student Name Brittany Garvey

Grade Level
School and CI Name
Date of Lesson Enactment:
1 class
Topic: Photosynthesis
Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs):
BIO.2 The student will investigate and understand the chemical and biochemical principles
essential for life. Key concepts include
d) the capture, storage, transformation, and flow of energy through the processes of
photosynthesis and respiration. List the appropriate Virginia SOLs.
Learning Objectives:
Students will KNOW
o Photosynthesis is the process of using water and carbon dioxide to produce sugars that
store chemical energy.
Students will UNDERSTAND
o Photosynthesis is a process of energy conversion.
Students will DO
o Model the process of photosynthesis.
o Apply the process of photosynthesis to another process of daily life.
Aluminum tray
Waxed paper
6 green marshmallows
12 pink marshmallows
18 white marshmallows
Sandwich bag for marshmallows
36 toothpicks
Gallon plastic bag
Colored pencils

Students will be advised not to eat any materials utilized in the experiment.
Appropriate use of toothpicks is necessary and no running in the classroom is tolerated as
toothpicks have a sharp end.
All materials should be kept away from eyes and all students must wear goggles throughout the

Lesson Procedures:
Students will begin the lesson with the following questions:
o Do plants eat food?
o What do plants eat?
Students will use their knowledge of what plants need to grow from their own experience and
apply this to this new process of photosynthesis.
This lesson will cause students to formulate responses to the following questions:
o What reactants are required for photosynthesis?
o What are the products of photosynthesis?
o What is the chemical equation for photosynthesis?
o What is the importance of water in the life of a plant?
o Explain the light-dependent and light-independent parts of photosynthesis?

Engage Phase

Students will begin the lesson sitting at their tables and talking with their group members about
the following questions:
o Do plants eat food?
o What do plants eat?
o What do plants need to survive?
Following the group discussions, one member of each group will be selected to share the
responses. These ideas will be written on the board for everyone to see.
The questions that students will answer and explore in the activity will be:
o What reactants are required for photosynthesis?
o What are the products of photosynthesis?
o What is the chemical equation for photosynthesis?
o What is the importance of water in the life of a plant?
o Explain the light-dependent and light-independent parts of photosynthesis?
In this lesson, students will model the process of photosynthesis with a focus on the products and
reactants of the process. Marshmallows of different colors will be used to represent this process
of chemical compounds in photosynthesis.

Explore Phase

The teacher will help the students by circulating around the room and providing assistance when
necessary. Students will perform the experiment in this phase with a focus on the following
o How is energy from light absorbed?
o What happens to the energy after it is absorbed?
o The word synthesis is used to describe the first part of photosynthesis, light-dependent
reaction, why is this word used?

The students will begin my developing a hypothesis to answer the question, What are the
molecules that are part of photosynthesis?
After writing the hypothesis, students will gather their materials.
Students will use their hypothesis of the molecules to draw them out on their worksheet.
Students will build the model of the molecules they drew using marshmallows and toothpicks.
The green represents carbon, pink represents hydrogen, and white represents oxygen.
Students will count the number of each atom their molecules have: carbon, hydrogen, and
Write the building materials that plants use to make their food.
Students will now create marshmallow models of the building molecules they wrote above.
As before, students will count how many of each molecule they made.

Explain Phase

Student will answer analysis questions on their worksheet independently of the teacher to provide
explanations of what they explored during their modeling of photosynthesis.
What are the reactants of photosynthesis?
What are the products of photosynthesis?
Write the chemical equation for the process of photosynthesis and what the equation means.
Following this, students will come together as a class with the teacher to review the explanations
of what was observed and modeled with the aid of the attached PowerPoint. This will allow
students to review the products and reactants of photosynthesis, as well as the overall equation.

Extend [Elaborate] Phase

Students will use what the teacher has explained through the PowerPoint and what they have
learned in the process of modeling to connect to new questions.
Students will explain why plants that have not been watered for a long while begin to die, with a
focus on photosynthesis knowledge.
Students will also describe what happens during the light-dependent and light-independent parts
of photosynthesis.

Evaluate Phase

Students will express their understanding through the photosynthesis modeling assignment
through their answers to the questions, especially the analysis questions at the end.
At the end of the lesson, students will be asked to hand in their worksheets and the teacher will
provide a wrap-up of the lesson through review of the photosynthesis process.
The teacher will ask students to share their responses as to why plants need water to survive.
The teacher will also have students look back at their initial answers about what plants need to
survive and what plants use as food. There will be time for students to respond as a class to their
responses initially and their responses now that they have modeled the process of photosynthesis.
Students will create a brief resume following the guidelines laid out below to assess the
understanding of the process of photosynthesis using key vocabulary. The teacher will be
available to answer any questions and to read out the requirements of the assessment.

On a separate piece of paper, students will be asked to create a resume given the following
o You are all leaves applying for a job at a photosynthesis company. Students should create
a resume, explaining their job qualifications and how they would get the job done. Key

vocabulary that should be included: stomata, water, carbon dioxide, light, energy,
chlorophyll, and chloroplast.
Students will also be asked to hand in their worksheets which will be returned to the students with
feedback on their responses. This will allow the teacher to ensure that all students were able to
reach an understanding of the process of photosynthesis.

Students how may need special supports, especially ELLs will be provided with a framework resume to
fill in for the assessment. This will allow them to express their understanding of the content, rather than
focusing on the outline.
Students with disabilities will be given teacher guidance when putting together the marshmallow models
to ensure that students with physical disabilities can still participate in the modeling effectively to allow
for learning of the process of photosynthesis.
Behavioral and organizational strategies:
Students will remain at their desks throughout the process of the 5E lesson. As a teacher, I must ensure
that I model how to create a marshmallow model and keep students engaged in the activity. I will do this
by walking around and observing students and guiding them in their answers to the questions by
providing further questions for them to consider. It is important that students are able to reach an
understanding in the end, which will only be gained if I am able to provide students with each step of the
5E process along the way.