The Carbon Cycle

Created using Comic Life

Learning Intention: Students will understand the processes involved in the carbon cycle – photosynthesis, respiration, decomposition, combustion and fossil-fuel formation.

Success Criteria: A product that demonstrates their understanding by providing an explanation of each of these processes.

Your assessment task for this unit of work is to produce an artefact that explains your understanding of the carbon cycle. It might be a poster, video, Voicethread, cartoon or slideshow. You could use Comic Life, ToonDoo, a common-craft style video or another tool. Make sure you include the following processes:

  • Photosynthesis – green plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrate (glucose) that is used by all other living organisms as the source of food. (absorbs CO2 and H2O and releases O2)
  • Respiration – all living organisms (with the exception of a few bacteria) use oxygen to convert carbohydrates into energy, releasing carbon dioxide and water into the atmosphere. (Requires O2 and releases CO2 and H2O)
  • Decomposition – Bacteria and fungi break down organic matter (leaves, wood, dead animals etc) into carbon dioxide and water during respiration.(Requires O2 and releases CO2 and H2O)
  • Fossil Fuel formation – Oil, coal and gas are formed after millions of years under extreme pressure and high temperatures, from once living organisms such as trees and microscopic algae.
  • Combustion – wood, gas, oil, coal and other carbon-containing compounds can be burnt with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide. (Requires O2 and releases CO2 and H2O)

Some useful resources:

Elements and Compounds

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So far this year, you have learned about the following:

  • An atom consists of positively charged protons and neutrons with no charge in a nucleus in the centre of the atom and much smaller electrons, which are negatively charged and on the outside of the atom.
  • Molecules are tiny particles made up of more than one atom. A water molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
  • Elements are pure substances that are made up of one type of atom. There are 92 naturally occurring elements and some man-made elements.
  • Compounds are substances made up of more than one type of atom, tightly bound together. They can look and behave very differently to the elements that they are made up of.
  • Elements are organised in the periodic table according to the number of protons in their nucleus. Hydrogen is #1 because it has one proton, helium is number 2 because it has 2 protons etc.
  • Each column of the periodic table contains elements with characteristics in common – the noble gases in Group 8 are all very non-reactive elements for example.

Your assessment task for this unit of work is to produce an artefact that explains your understanding of the carbon cycle. It might be a poster, video, Voicethread, cartoon or slideshow. You could use Comic Life, ToonDoo, a common-craft style video or another tool. Make sure you include the following processes:

  • Photosynthesis – green plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrate (glucose) that is used by all other living organisms as the source of food.
  • Respiration – all living organisms (with the exception of a few bacteria) use oxygen to convert carbohydrates into energy, releasing carbon dioxide and water into the atmosphere.
  • Decomposition – Bacteria and fungi break down organic matter (leaves, wood, dead animals etc) into carbon dioxide and water during respiration.
  • Fossil Fuel formation – Oil, coal and gas are formed after millions of years under extreme pressure and high temperatures, from once living organisms such as trees and microscopic algae.
  • Combustion – wood, gas, oil, coal and other carbon-containing compounds can be burnt with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide.

Year 8 Science: Atoms and Molecules

Learning Intention: Students will be able to recognise the structure of atoms and molecules and understand some of the features of the periodic table. They will know that elements are pure substances made up of a single type of atom.

Success Criteria: You will be able to define atoms, molecules, elements and compounds. You will be able to draw a labelled diagram of an atom and explain why elements are arranged in the periodic table in rows and columns.

As you discovered this week, chemistry is everywhere! All substances are made up of atoms and molecules whether they be gases, liquids or solids. Some are pure substances (elements) made up of one type of atom, but most are compounds, made up of molecules of atoms of different kinds. We will complete several experiments next week, that show that a compound can be very different from the elements from which it is comprised. For example, hydrogen(H2)  and oxygen(O2) are colourless gases, but H20 (water) is a colourless liquid. Carbon (C) can be like charcoal, graphite or diamond, but carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colourless gas.

More information about atoms and elements at BBC Bitesize and the NDT Resource Centre.

Year 7 and 8 Skills 4 Living – Your survival kit

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Learning intention: Students will have a greater understanding of the necessary goods and services provided in our community and their importance for survival. They will consider the requirements to be self-sufficient, in terms of food, fuel, shelter and medicine.

Success criteria: Each student will prepare a “virtual survival kit” (report, poster or slideshow) that lists all the necessary requirements to survive indefinitely in an isolated location. 

Over the past couple of weeks most of you have experienced what it is like to be without telephones, internet, ATM’s and EFTPOS. You have also probably had times when there was a power failure, the tanks ran out of water or the gas bottle was empty. Often we take all these products and services for granted – we expect that we will always have access to electrical lighting; heating and cooling; cooking and washing appliances; waste disposal; communication and entertainment devices.

However, sometimes natural and man-made disasters occur (floods, bushfires, tsunamis etc) and all these goods and services are unavailable. There are groups of people who plan for such events – sometimes called “preppers” or “survivalists”. Some even believe in an apocalypse (doomsday or end of the earth as we know it). Your task today is to prepare a virtual “survival kit” to document what you would need in the case of some disaster that prevented you getting anything (food, water, power, shelter or any other materials and equipment) from outside this school. Can you think of any movies that begin with this premise?

You will need to grow your own food, because you cannot store enough to survive in the long term. You will need some way of producing energy if you wish to extract water from the ground and have hot water and lighting. Your report, poster or slideshow should include a list of requirements and a description of how they will be used.

Some resources:

Please add any other resources in the comment windows below.

Year 9 Science: Brain and Body Project

Choose one of the following topics and produce a report, poster, slideshow or video that demonstrates your understanding of the subject. Include ten questions to quiz your audience at the end of your presentation.

  • Structure of the brain – what is the structure and function of the parts of this vital organ?
  • Structure of the nervous system – Read pages 38 and 39 and describe the functions of the different parts of the nervous system.
  • Neural disease – Research a brain disease or damage to the spinal cord that impacts on normal body functioning. For example, What are the causes and effects of Alzheimer’s disease, motor-neuron disease or quadriplegia?
  • Chemical warfare – Read questions 40 and 41 and answer the “Remember” and “Think and Discuss” questions on page 41.
  • How do drugs affect the brain? Choose one of amphetamines, alcohol, barbituates, caffeine, cocaine, heroin, GHB or marijuana. (Make sure you answer the questions – under “Investigate” question 12 – in the blue box on page 27)
  • Plant chemicals – research the different chemicals produced by plants and how they function.

Start by completing a “KWWHL chart”

  1. What do you KNOW about your topic?
  2. What do you WANT to know about your topic?
  3. WHERE will you find out what you want to know about the topic?
  4. HOW will you present your work to your peers?
  5. What did you LEARN about your topic (after you have completed your research)

Resources:

NIDA for teens: Brain and addiction

The effect of drugs and alcohol on the adolescent brain

Effects of drugs on the brain and teen moods

Smoking marijuana as teen may have lasting brain effects, study suggests.

Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Year 8 Skills for Living – Apollo Bay Camp

Learning Intention:

Success Criteria:

Your task today is to write a blog post about last week’s camp. Please include the activities you enjoyed, what you learnt and the most memorable part. You may like to use these prompts…..

  • The most difficult thing about being on camp was….
  • The best food we had was……
  • I will always remember when….
  • The funniest part was when….
  • The interesting thing about staying in a YHA is….
  • I was happy to get home because….

Year 7 Skills for Living – Otway Fly Tree Top Walk

The spiral tower at the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk

Learning Intention: To remember and recount learning from listening to the guide on the excursion on Tuesday.

Success Criteria: You will produce a blog post of at least 100 words describing your visit to the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk. An excellent post will have correct spelling, grammar and punctuation and be interesting to read. Please include an image and mention the highlights of your excursion.

On Tuesday 6th November, twenty-four students from Year 7 and  fourteen students from Year 8, together with staff, visited the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk, near Laver’s Hill in south-west Victoria. Our guide was Nathan, who talked about the flora and fauna of the rainforest. Please write a blog post about what you learnt about the Otway rainforest including:

Year 7 and 8 Skills for Living – “A Winter’s Tale”

The Bollywood dancers – Year 7 girls

Your task today is to write a blog post, including an image, about the production. You can find images of the production in the “student public folder > 2012 > Production photos”. You could write it as a newspaper review, including what you enjoyed about the performance and how it compares to other shows you have seen. Or you could write it as a performer – what you felt before, during and after the show. Make sure you include the following:

  • a description of the characters and the setting
  • the storyline – what is the show about?
  • what are the highlights?
  • who were the ‘behind the scenes’ team who made the show such a great success?

If you didn’t participate in the production and didn’t get the opportunity to see the show, write a review of your favorite TV show or movie. You will still need to include the four dot points above.

Year 9 Biology: Cycling of matter

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Learning Intention: Students will develop an understanding of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles and their importance in ecosystems.

Success Criteria: Students will be able to discuss the different cycles and the processes that occur within each cycle, using the correct terminology.

You have been divided into three groups to learn more about the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. Your task, as a group, is to produce a slideshow to teach the rest of the class about your cycle. Your slideshow should include at least eight slides, diagrams and an explanation of each of the processes involved (see below). You should also produce a quiz for the rest of the class with at least ten questions about the cycle. You can use Quizlet or Quiz Revolution or the Arcade Game generator on Classtools.net to create your quiz.

Water Cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, transpiration, erosion and percolation. (Trevor, Jayden, Arron, Jim and Jake)

Carbon Cycle: photosynthesis, respiration, fossil-fuel formation, ocean acidification. (James, Aaron, Bradley, Nathan)

YouTube video by NASA – “Keeping up with carbon”

Nitrogen Cycle: nitrogen-fixing, denitrification, ammonification.(Sarah, Emma, Leah, Elly, Che, Porcha)

More resources: YouTube video about Biogeochemical cycling.

Year 7 and 8 Skills for Living

Each student needs to reflect on their Semester 2 Learning Goals and send a statement through to me by email. Each student has

  • 3 academic (subject-related) goals,
  • 2 “You Can Do It!” goals (confidence, resilience, persistence, organisation and getting along) and
  • 1 personal goal.

For student reports, I need to write a paragraph about how each student has achieved or not achieved their goals. So, students should write about each goal and state wether they have achieved their goal and if not, why they didn’t. Are your goals still relevant? How can you make sure you achieve these goals this term or next year? Send to me at brittgow(at)gmail(dot)com.