Lesson One: Energy Catchers
- Students will know that energy and nutrients enter ecosystems through plants.
- Students will know that light energy gets converted to chemical energy by photosynthesis.
Notebook1_Energy Catchers worksheet
Clear plastic cups
Computer and Internet connection
1. Have students paste Notebook1_EnergyCatchers worksheet into a composition book to create a Redwood Forest Ecology science notebook.
2. Partner Share: In pairs students list the properties that influence the growth of green plants. Each student then draws pictures in notebooks of how energy and nutrients flow. (light energy-solar, nutrients, water, photosynthesis)
3. As a class, set up the Green Onion Growth experiment following worksheet directions (listed below):
- Gather materials and sort into collaborative group sets (baskets, zip lock bags, etc.).
- Predict which properties are most important to green plant growth as a class--take a poll.
- Pass out group sets of cups, soil, graduated cylinders, straws, marbles--no water or onions yet.
- Set up the growing environment according to the worksheet directions.
- Demonstrate how to cut the onion tops at the bulb and pass out the green onions (2 per student).
- Students use centimeter rulers to mark a "0" approximately 5 centimeters from one end of the straw and mark remaining straw at 1 centimeter increments.
- Students plant onion bulbs in cups, put straws in cups with "0" at soil level, and label cups (with student name and "Dark" or "Light") for the environment where cups will be placed.
- Teacher collects the dark environment cups and puts them in a cardboard box with a cover.
- Teacher collects the light environment cups and places them in a lighted environment.
- NOTE: Students will measure and record growth and observation for 7 to 10 days, graph recorded data and answer key questions in notebooks after observations are completed.
Research and conduct additional plant experiments demonstrating conversion of light energy into chemical energy (photosynthesis). Explore interactive Web resources at http://www.redwood-edventures.org/.