Carbon Cycle and Your Town

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Organization:American Geosciences Institute (AGI); Earth Science Week (ESW)
Summary:As a biogeochemist, Dr. Jahren has devoted much of her life to studying the carbon cycle, the processes by which carbon is exchanged among our planet's natural spheres. Students in this lesson explore the carbon cycle, not only in the abstract, but in the world they find outside. Journeying through the carbon cycle, students can practice systems thinking skills as they move from one simulated reservoir to another. A visit to their school campus provides new opportunities for students to make place-based observations and categorize them into the four spheres — geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Developing a visual model helps students consider interactions among the components of spheres and build systems thinking skills. As students wrap up the lesson they return to their personal timelines and explore how their thinking has changed with regard to their talents and STEM.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 1; Big Idea 3
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS2.A; ESS2.D
NGSS Performance Expectations:HS-ESS2-6; MS-ESS2-1
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Developing and using models
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation; Stability and change
Subjects: 6-8; 9-12; activities; carbon cycle; elementary school; high school; k-3; k-5; k-5 geosource; lesson; middle school; ngss
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