Reflection: Rigor Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles (2 of 2) - Section 3: Comparing the Cycles


When I developed this lesson my main goal was to ensure that students understood how matter is recycled in nature. To me it was important that students paid attention to the details of each cycle as they tied in what they had done in the games the day before with the different diagrams that could be used to represent both cycles. This is why I chose the compare and contrast strategy.

Comparing and contrasting can help improve comprehension of the material because it forces the students to hone in on the details and highlights important information. It strengthens critical thinking skills since finding similarities and differences helps students organize the information they have, and lays the pathway for analyzing problems and making informed decisions. This is why the skill shows up multiple times in the Common Core Standards, and why it was important for my students to practice the skill in this context.

When using compare and contrast, it is helpful that the students have a graphic organizer. The traditional organizer for compare and contrast is the Venn diagram. However, I personally shy away from it since the students (and myself) never have enough room to write down the similarities. If you or your students prefer some other type, a simple Google search for compare and contrast graphic organizers usually yields many to choose from.

  Comparing and contrasting
  Rigor: Comparing and Contrasting
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Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles (2 of 2)

Unit 9: Interdependence of Organisms
Lesson 5 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to describe how carbon and nitrogen cycle through ecosystems.

Big Idea: Matter is constantly cycled between living and nonliving parts of the environment.

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50 teachers like this lesson
Science, Cycle of Matter, Natural Cycles, carbon cycle, endangered species, organism, Ecosystems, Biotic and Abiotic Factors, Interdependence of Organisms
  50 minutes
nitrogen cycle
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