Discovering Life from Light: a journey to the beginning of the Earth

Unit: Discovering life from light: a journey to the beginning of the Earth

Year Level: 5/6

Foodweb Theme: Studying history and evolution through the cycling of matter during photosynthesis.

history of earth

Key learning objectives:

  • Increase students understanding the cyclical nature of matter on Earth and understanding change over time through this lens.
  • Greater familiarity with the process of photosynthesis and its importance for the evolution of life.
  • Develop an awareness and sense of deep time and Earth’s history.
  • An introduction to bio-geochemical cycles at the macro level and atmospheric changes reinforcing understanding of matter cycles.
  • An introduction to evolution including a sense of perspective of human evolution

SESSIONS X 4:

Session 1: What’s photosynthesis got to do with it?

Lesson Outline: Introduction to unit and objectives regarding time travel.  Explain the need to revisit photosynthesis because it is  a key process for understanding what we’re going to discover.

What is photosynthesis? What are the ingredients needed for this process to happen?

Lyric sheet with missing words to verse 1 and chorus of photosynthesis rap. Go through together fill in blanks and explain. Revise with a little song, read lyrics together explain any unfamiliar terminology.

Key learning objectives: Photosynthesis ingredients and process

Key words/concepts: photosynthesis, oxygen, carbon dioxide.

Preparation:

Equipment: electronic whiteboard or laptop, edited version of rap and lyric sheet with missing words. Large leaf sample, bottle of water, plastic bags x 2 different colours one with 02 written on and the other CO2, sugar bowl.

Session 2: Life from light

Lesson outline: Students are given the opportunity to directly connect with the process of photosynthesis and discover its importance on our planet.

  1. Engage students by supplying them with their own individual leaves. Work with a partner to compare, make note of differences similarities. Request volunteers to describe and show to class.
  2. What do they all have in common? Process? Photosynthesis.
  3. What is photosynthesis? Revise again.
  4. Present key questions for video then play edited sections of How to Grow a Planet: Life from Life Ian Stewart video I.

Key learning objectives: Photosynthesis ingredients and process

Key words/concepts: photosynthesis, oxygen, carbon dioxide, bacteria.

Preparation: enough leaves for a different one for each student. All the physical ingredients of symbols of ingredients and energy source of photosynthesis. Interactive whiteboard or laptop.

Session 3: How is life on land possible?

Lesson outline: Applying students understanding of photosynthesis to evolution.

  1. Quick recap of photosynthesis ingredients
  2. Photo of stromatolites
  3. What is a timeline? Draw individual, guess Earth timeline using figurines eg. Dinosaur, human, land plants
  4. Play edited sections of How to Grow a A Planet: Life from Light video II and answer questions on when first life appeared? why no life on land? what were photosynthetic bacteria putting into the atmosphere? what did the oxygen create?

Key learning objectives: Photosynthesis ingredients and process.

Key words/concepts: photosynthesis, oxygen, carbon dioxide, stromatolites, photosynthetic bacteria

Preparation: All the physical ingredients of symbols of ingredients and energy source of photosynthesis. Interactive whiteboard or laptop. Figurines dinosaur, human, plants etc

Session 4: Journey to the beginning of the Earth

Lesson Outline: Students develop an awareness of deep time and how and when the cycling of matter  during photosynthesis has significantly impacted life on our Earth.

  1. Recap video and place information on timeline how old is Earth? First life? Difference between purple and green bacteria. What do the green ones do? What did that mean for Earth’s atmosphere?
  2. ready to go back in time, intro to video 60 million years every hour. How long to get to dinosaurs? Life of land? Only cyanobacteria? And why? What were they doing and for how long?
  3. Video III  Time Travellers Guide to Australia Part I  01:04 – 04:04

1. Activities:

  1. Up close and personal with leaves: exploring variation/similarity, scientific processes of identification, observation skills, familiarity with leaf structure and function. Low-supervision some guidance required.
  1. Time travel: adapted from this lesso by seventh grade teacher Alastair Inman but using colour images of organisms and figurines at the key points in deep history, no emphasis on the names of the periods just the events and impacts.
seniors head back to the dawn of time

seniors head back to the dawn of time

Equipment for group/individual: leaf plant key and clue table.

2. Garden Activities: groups rotate through these different activities over the four sessions

  1. Mulching: What’s mulching got to with photosynthesis?
  2. Planting seedlings.
  3. Removing summer crops and composting
  4. Light energy to heat in sun-oven demo.

3. Cooking:

St Peters:

  1. upside down sun baked peach cake
  2. pesto shells
  3. ratatouille in shells
  4. zucchini and choc brownies

St Pius:

  1. Zucchini pastry
  2. Greek salad bites
  3. pizza pancakes
  4. zucchini and choc brownies

BNWPS:

  1. Zucchini and tomato pastry
  2. Sun baked zucchini quiche
  3. ratatouille in shells
  4. zucchini and choc brownies
Categories: Activities, Cooking, Evolutionary History, Matter, Natural History, Photosynthesis, Planting, Plants, Practical, Practical Skills, Propagation, Relationship with the sun, Watering, With Sun Oven | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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