Photosynthesis in Action
A  WebQuest for Grades 9 - 12, WebQuest Agricultural Series by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University



INTRODUCTION
People and plants have coexisted for thousands of years. Plants are a lot like people, but different in key ways. Plants are able to make their own food to survive and grow.


OVERALL TASK
Your task is to learn about the process of photosynthesis where the plant makes its own food. You will learn about the photosynthesis process, then use your knowledge to complete three tasks related to photosynthesis. You will also have the opportunity to test your comprehension on photosynthesis using online games.


PROCESS
Step 1: Background plant cell knowledge is important in learning photosynthesis. An interactive plant cell model can help you get a better grasp on the make up of the plant. You can also print out and identify parts of a leaf. A plant cell diagram is helpful for reference. Here are the basic things you need to know:


Cuticle- the thin waxy outer covering of a leaf
Stomata- located on the undersides of leaves to regulate water vapor, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the leaf. It is controlled by guard cells that surround the stoma.
Chloroplasts- this is where photosynthesis occurs.


Step 2. The process of photosynthesis is a lot like the recipe for making a cake. You need certain ingredients to make the end product -- a cake. Make a list of ingredients needed to bake a cake. You can use this activity sheet to help make a list.


Step 3.  The Photosynthesis Recipe. The formula or "recipe" for photosynthesis is Carbon Dioxide + Water yields Sugar + Oxygen in the presence of light. The scientific formula is located here. Carbon dioxide is given off when humans exhale (breathe out). Water is needed for all plants to grow. The process occurs within the plant cell in the chloroplasts, in the presence of light. This reaction yields sugar, which is the plant food, and oxygen, which is what humans inhale when we breathe.  At the following website, you can see how we as humans influence this process, by the air we inhale and exhale, and also when we help water plants. This song can be used to help you remember the photosynthesis process. Use the websites below to fill out the activity worksheet provided.

            Magic School Bus Interactive Video

            Background Info

            Background Info

            Background Info

Step 4:  Watch a video on photosynthesis. The following videos help bring photosynthesis to life.

                National Geographic Video

                How Stuff Works Video

Step 5: Play the Photosynthesis Games

                Photosynthesis Formula Game

                Photosynthesis Jeopardy
 

Step 6:  Complete the three assignments below.

Assignment 1:  Chemical Equations.
Use this website to print off the chemical equation worksheet to test your balancing skills. You can also balance the photosynthesis formula.

CO2 + H2O --> C6H12O6 + O2


Assignment 2:  Photosynthesis Model.
Using craft materials create a 3-D model of photosynthesis.


CONCLUSION
You have now mastered the idea of photosynthesis. You know why it is important for plants to have certain things in order to grow.


EVALUATION

Rubric for Photosynthesis Model Projects

Competency 

7 pts.

5 pts.

2 pts.

0 pts.

3-D Model All parts of the model are 3-D. Most parts of the model are 3-D Some parts of the model are 3-D. No parts of the model are 3-D.
Photosynthesis Formula All parts of the photosynthesis formula are displayed. 1 part of the photosynthesis formula is missing. 2 parts of the photosynthesis formula is missing. 3 or more parts of the photosynthesis formula is missing.
Creativeness The model is creative and utilizes different craft supplies. The model is somewhat creative and utilizes different craft supplies. The model is somewhat creative and does not utilize different craft supplies. No creativity or effort was put into the model.

Rubric for Photosynthesis Experiment Projects

Competency 

7 pts.

5 pts.

2 pts.

0 pts.

Use of Plant A plant is involved in the experiment. N/A N/A No plant is involved in the experiment.
Realistic The experiment is very realistic and can be completed by any high school age student. The experiment is somewhat realistic and could be more realistic with minor changes. The experiments is somewhat realistic and could be more realistic with major changes. The experiment is not realistic.
Procedure and Directions All directions and procedures are lined out properly with no steps missing. Directions and procedures are listed with minor steps missing. Directions and procedures are listed with major steps missing. No directions or procedures are listed.


CREDITS
Photos from USDA / ARS.



This WebQuest was created by teachers participating in Missouri's Agriculture in the Classroom program at Missouri State University through a USDA grant.  The template on this site was adapted from a template from The WebQuest Page and the original was designed by Dr. Lyndon Irwin.  Assistance for this project was provided by Mrs. Barbara Irwin, M.S. and Mrs. Diane Olson, M.S.


Teachers are encouraged to adapt this lesson for classroom use only.  No part of this publication may be transmitted, stored, recorded or published in any form without written permission from Missouri Farm Bureau.



This page was developed by Ashley Noblitt, reviewed by Lyndon and the late Barbara Irwin and is maintained by Missouri Farm Bureau.

Please address questions to Diane Olson at Missouri Farm Bureau