Lesson Plan

Photosynthesis Virtual Lab

The lab simulates actual conditions when plants are subjected to various wavelengths of light. The students use an interactive website for data gathering, and use Google Drive for the analysis and presentation of data.
Elma S.
Classroom teacher
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects Science

Students will be able to...determine if the colors of the light spectrum have an effect on plant growth.

To conduct the investigation, students will:

1. Use the interactive website http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/science/virtual_labs/LS12/LS12.html to collect data on plant height.

2. Tabulate results using Google spreadsheet.

3. Analyze results and determine if the colors of the light spectrum have an effect on plant growth.

4. Translate data into a graph, using Google spreadsheet.

5. Organize and present the results of the investigation using Google docs and presentation. Post link to finished works on Edmodo.

Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Students take a short virtual trip to the website of the virtual lab http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/science/virtual_labs/LS12/LS12.html

Guide questions/instructions:

1. Take 5 minutes to explore the interactive website.

What did you discover?

What questions can you investigate?

What can we do to answer these questions?

2. Post your answers to the questions on Edmodo.

3. Comment on at least one of your classmates' post.

2 Direct Instruction

Google Drive
Free, Paid
Free, Paid

Students will read background information on Photosynthesis, using the Google Research Tool. They will take down notes on Google docs, and share the notes with their partners.

Guide questions:

1. What are needed for photosynthesis to take place?

2. Which color of the ligh spectrum does the plant need for phostosynthesis?

3. What question can we investigate to find out the answer to question #2?

Teacher-led discussion and presentation (using Prezi) of information follows. Students evaluate the information they read about, with the information presented by the teacher, and check theirs for accuracy and correctness.

3 Guided Practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid

With the guidance of the teacher, the students, after defining their research question, begins collecting data from the interactive website. Students organize their data into a table, using Google spreadsheet, and translate these data sets into graph representations. Students post tables and graphs on Edmodo. Teacher comments on students' submitted works.

4 Independent Practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Students, with their partners, work on analyzing the data they collected, looking for patterns and trends and possible correlations between the two factors investigated: color of light and plant growth. Interactions between the pairs are recorded on Google docs. Google spreadsheet is used for data organization and analysis. Based on results, the students write evidence-backed conclusions. Links to the data, graphs and conclusion are posted on Edmodo. 

5 Wrap-up

Free, Paid
Google Drive
Free, Paid

Students summarize the investigation, from defining the research problem, to data collection and analysis and finally to the conclusion. Students use Prezi to synthesize the results and present before their classmates. Students are given the choice of: reporting the results in person or doing it online. The students could also opt to use the Google presentation tool as an alternative to Prezi. All presentations will be posted on Edmodo