Transformations in Matter and Energy Carbon TIME is an NSF-funded partnership led by Michigan State University
Activity 4.1 - Molecular Models for Cows Moving and Functioning: Cellular Respiration (45 min)
Target Student Performance
Students use molecular models to explain how carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms are rearranged into new molecules in a cow’s cells.
Resources You Provide
- (From previous lesson) Students’ unanswered questions they shared in 3.3 Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for Mealworms Eating
- (From previous lesson) 3.3 Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for Mealworms Eating
- molecular model kit (1 per pair of students)
- scissors (1 per pair of students)
- twist ties (at least 12 per pair of students)
- video of a cow moving, such as here: https://youtu.be/onWzeDElz6w
- 4.1 Molecular Models for Cellular Respiration Worksheet (1 per student)
- 4.1 Grading the Molecular Models for Cellular Respiration Worksheet
- 41 Molecular Models for Cow Cellular Respiration PPT
- Molecular Models 11 x 17 Placemat (1 per pair of students)
- Molecule Diagram 11 x 17 Poster (1 per class)
- Three Ways to Represent Glucose 11 x 17 Poster (1 per class)
- Forms of Energy Cards (1 set per pair of students)
- Cow 11 x 17 Poster (1 per class)
Prepare one model kit, one Molecular Models 11 x 17 Placemat, one pair of scissors, and one Forms of Energy Cards for each pair of students. Print one copy of the 4.1 Molecular Models for Cellular Respiration Worksheet for each student. Prepare a computer and a projector to display the PPT. Retrieve the materials from Activity 3.3. This may include PPT slides from the lesson in which you typed students’ unanswered questions or a photograph of their unanswered questions. Print and hang the Cow 11 x 17 Poster, Molecule Diagram 11 x 17 Poster, and Three Ways to Represent Glucose 11 x 17 Poster.
Listen for the students’ sense of necessity to make sure that atoms last forever during chemical changes. Asking them about the “atoms are forever” rule during the molecular modeling and animation may give you a sense of how committed they are to conserving matter.
If you had students complete the molecular modeling part of this activity, use 4.1 Grading the Molecular Models for Cellular Respiration Worksheet to get a sense of students’ initial ideas and explanations about cellular respiration in plants. Students should be able to follow instructions and complete the worksheet correctly, so it is reasonable to grade this worksheet.
- Laminate the Molecular Models 11 x 17 Placemat. These will be used multiple times in each unit.
- During the molecular modeling activity and animation, focus on how matter and energy are conserved through the chemical change. This is the main goal of the activity!