Reflection: Modeling Photosynthesis: Direct Instruction - Section 4: Focus


I used to teach the photosynthesis reaction in purely experiential ways.  I would pretend to hand out the ingredients. We would take models and build the equation, I would show the kids photosynthesis happening with elodea and more.  Though interesting, the results weren't a deeper understanding of photosynthesis!  

Recently, I have had a lot more success with my students learning the photosynthesis reaction.  I think this is because I've started teaching to teach it like I would do a close reading and modeling how I would deconstruct the text.  There are times that I feel a bit silly standing in front of the class and saying things like, "When I see a number in front of the equation, I'm thinking about molecules and how there are 6 molecules here."  But regardless of how it feels, this modeling works for kids.  I hear them using this language later on to help each other.  There is a place for inquiry and experiential learning....but we can't ignore the more traditional methods either.

  "Reading" an equation
  Modeling: "Reading" an equation
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Photosynthesis: Direct Instruction

Unit 7: Energy in Life: Photosynthesis
Lesson 3 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to read and understand the formula for photosynthesis.

Big Idea: A chemical equation is a model for a reaction that happens in real life.

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  55 minutes
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