Cell Respiration - A WISE Activity (Day 5)

12 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will be able to use interactive visualizations to explore how chemical energy is released during cell respiration..

Big Idea

When bonds are broken, energy is released.

Note to Teachers

This lesson assumes you are running the WISE activity "Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration". For instructions on how to set up accounts and run the project please read the Note to teacher on "Photosynthesis - a WISE activity (Day 1)".

This lesson continues the Cells 'R Us project based learning experience. The lessons in this sequence are based on the "need to know's" created by the students (with guidance) for the Cells 'R Us project.

The complete sequence I use for the Cells 'R Us project is:


10 minutes

To start the lesson, I hand out the completed Light and Dark probes the students turned in at the end of the previous day. I tell the students to keep these handy during today's work on the last WISE topics since they might want to change their answers or add to them. This activity ties in nicely to SP7 Engaging in Argument from Evidence, as the students will have access to relevant evidence to construct/re-construct their answers.

I tell the class that now that we know how energy is captured by plant cells and how it is released, it is time to explore "What do plants and animals do with the energy?". After a brief discussion centered on the answer to this question, the student pairs get their computers and log on to the WISE site. 


35 minutes

Once student pairs are logged on, I tell them that I expect them to complete Topic 5: "When Do Plants Need Energy"?" and Topic 6: "Do Humans Need Energy?".

Note to Teachers: Please note that Using Firefox or IE are the appropriate platforms for the WISE platform. If students are using Chrome, they might not be able to see the experiments.

In Step 5.4 students perform an "experiment" that provides evidence that respiration in plants occurs in the presence and absence of light. At this point, students should revise/reconstruct their answers to the Light and Dark probe (closure from the day before) in light of the new evidence they have (SP7 Engaging in Argument from Evidence). Watch as a group of students make use of the visualization and clarify their own understanding, as they engage in a discussion of their observations with scientific peers (SP8 Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information). 

Step 6.8 is a challenge. This step requires that the students build a "My System" diagram model that ties photosynthesis and cell respiration together (SP2: Developing and Using Models). I usually tell students that even though they might not get the "perfect" model to receive the "Great Job" feedback from the site in three attempts, I will be asking them to defend their model.

As long as I see no blatantly incorrect placements and they can explain their choices given the evidence they have gathered, their model is considered correct. This is a team's second attempt, but if you open the student work, you will also see that the platform tells students which step to review to correct their work.


5 minutes

To close the lesson (and the WISE activity), I ask the students to jot down one potential test question from what they learned during the WISE "Photosynthesis and Cell Respiration" activity. 

Note to teacher: I collect these test questions, go over them to ensure they are clear, and use them the next day to open the final lesson in this mini-unit.