Educational Resources

Carbon's Adventures Around The Forest

View of forest and mountains found in the Southern Sierra CZO
View of forest and mountains found in the Southern Sierra CZO
Explore how certain events in a forest can change the timing and routing of carbon.

Grades 3 - 8
Geochemistry/Mineralogy
Activity


Educational Objectives

By the end of this activity, students will be able to:

  • explain what carbon and carbon dioxide is
  • understand the carbon cycle through a forest ecosystem

 

Visit this resource (pdf)

Audience
K-12


NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns | Cause and Effect - Mechanism and Explanation | Systems and System Models | Energy and Matter - Flows, Cycles, and Conservation | Structure and Function | Stability and Change

NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems | Planning and Carrying Out Investigations | Analyzing and Interpreting Data | Developing and Using Models | Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions | Engaging in Argument from Evidence | Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: LS1 - From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes | LS2 - Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics | ESS2 - Earth’s Systems | ESS3 - Earth and Human Activity | ETS1 - Engineering Design


Observatory: Sierra CZO

Author(s): Michelle Gilmore (UC Merced)


Funding: Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory


Details for this Resource

Carbon is found nearly everywhere on Earth. In this activity designed for 3rd-8th graders, students explore where and how carbon travels in an ecosystem, and make a model of carbon cycling in a forest. Students also learn how certain events in a forest can change the timing and routing of carbon.

Note: Proposed NGSS alignment and 5E lesson structure (less Evaluate) are included in the activity guide. This activity was originally developed for Merced County Office of Education's TEAM-E Science Training for elementary and middle school teachers.