Transformations in Matter and Energy Carbon TIME is an NSF-funded partnership led by Michigan State University
Activity 6.1: Exploring Different Kinds of Decomposers
Target Student Performance
Students explain how matter and energy move and change in other phenomena involving decomposers, included aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, fermentation, spontaneous combustion of hay, and decomposition in forests.
Resources You Provide
- Spontaneous combustion of hay video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRNCrHqD0zE
- Paper for writing answers to questions on 6.1 Exploring Different Kinds of Decomposers Handout
- Molecular model kits for modeling fermentation (if you do 6.1 Decomposers Without Oxygen Reading and Modeling Handout)
- 6.1 Exploring Different Kinds of Decomposers Handout (1 per student)
- 6.1 Bacteria Reading
- 6.1 Dr. Death Reading
- 6.1 Decomposers Without Oxygen Reading and Modeling Handout
For this lesson, you can choose which of the four activities you would like your students to do. You may opt to concentrate on one or two of the activities, allow your students to choose, or organize a jigsaw activity in which different groups of students do different activities. For all the activities, you can decide if you want to do them as a whole class or for students to work on them individually or in small groups. For all the activities, prepare one copy of 6.1 Exploring Different Kinds of Decomposers Handout for each student.
For the Learning more about bacteria activity, prepare a copy of 6.1 Bacteria Reading for each student.
For the Reading about Dr. Death, prepare a copy of 6.1 Dr. Death Reading for each student.
For Learning about spontaneous combustion of hay, prepare a computer and projector to show the video.
For Modeling fermentation, prepare a copy of 6.1 Decomposers Without Oxygen Reading and Modeling Handout for each student and a model kit for each pair of students.
During the sub-activities, consider how students connect the new phenomena related to decomposers in this Activity with what they have learned more generally about decomposers throughout the earlier Lessons of the unit.