Lesson Plan : Factors That Affect Photosynthesis

Teacher Name:
 Marianne B. Gomes
 Grade 9-10

 What are some of the key factors that affect the rate of photosynthesis?
 This lesson plan would be suitable for a high school biology class. Applicable standards: California Content Standards for Biology/Life Sciences, Cell Biology 1f and 1h, and Investigation and Experimentation 1a and 1d. Key vocabulary: photosynthesis rate, relationship, light intensity, CO2 concentration, water intake, temperature, humidity, stomate, saturation point, optimum level, limiting factor
 1. To know how the five factors, light intensity, CO2 Concentration, water intake, temperature, and humidity affect the rate of photosynthesis. 2. To use a computer-based simulation of photosynthesis to explore how these five factors affect photosynthesis rate. 3. To prepare graphs of data showing the effect of the five factors. 4. To answer key content questions relating to the data collected.
 1. Working in groups, students will use a computer-based simulation of photosynthesis to explore how the five factors affect the rate of photosynthesis in order to determine the optimum conditions for photosynthesis. 2. Each student will graph data the group has collected for each of the factors. 3. Each student will questions showing how each of the factors affects photosynthesis rate and define saturation point, optimum level, and limiting factor.
 1.A classroom set of computers, one per table group of 4-5 students. 2.Computer program: Logal Explorer Biology: Photosynthesis. 3.Printed directions/questions/worksheet to go with the activity.
 Using the comuter simulation program projected onto a large screen, the teacher will introduce the question of what happens to the rate of photosynthesis if various environmental factors are varied. Ideas from the class may be solicited and quickly "tested" with the simulation program in order to set the stage for the lesson.
 1. Using direct instruction, the teacher can briefly introduce and discuss the five key factors that affect the rate of photosynthesis. 2. Using the photosynthesis simulation projected onto the screen, the teacher can demonstrate how to use the program to investigate the five factors, collect data and graph the results.
 1. Before starting the activity, students will briefly practice how to run the simulation program, with teacher guidance using the overhead projection on the screen. 2. After the students collect their first set of data, the teacher will review the basics of proper graphing using the overhead projector, and guide students in correctly graphing their data.
 1. Extended learning opportunities using the photosynthesis computer simulation program could easily be provided. Possible extensions might include investigating the effects of additional environmental factors such as the color of light to which the plants are exposed. 2. Students who need additional time to complete either the initial or the extension activity could come into class at lunch or after school to work on the computers, or conduct independent research at home.
Checking For Understanding:
 1. While students are using the computers, the teacher will circulate from table to table checking for understanding and providing assistance as needed. 2. Specific content questions that analyze and interpret the results will be answered after the computer data has been collected and graphed.
 At the close of the lesson, the teacher will briefly query the class as the results they found on the effects of the five factors, using the on-screen projection of the simulation if necessary to reinforce the concepts.
 Students will be evaluated using the worksheet they prepare and turn in. The worksheet will contain data tables of the data they collected, properly labeled graphs of the data for each of the five factors, and answers to specific questions relating to the content of the activity.
Teacher Reflections:
 Folllowing the activity and the grading of the worksheets, the teacher will reflect as to whether or not students met the stated objectives. Reteaching opportunities could be provided by reviewing the outcomes of the activity with the class, showing and going over the activity using the big screen projector and/or by repeating the direct instruction component of the activity.

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