1 March Science 8–Summative on Photosynthesis/Carbon Cycle — a workday

Read through the project description thoroughly.


Make a plan. How will you construct your argument? How will you display your thinking and understanding? What medium will you use? How will you make sure you have addressed ALL the criteria to complete the project and to meet the standards?

There are several points in the project where you are asked to reflect. Consider these questions, for example:

How do you know that you are learning? How can you demonstrate and document that learning to another person?

How do you respond to the dilemma of detail–especially with all the phenomena and  explanations associated with photosynthesis? What have you explained and justified in your project and what has been left out? What sorts of evidence and argument would be needed to completely justify the claim?

To what extent have you been relieved of “plant blindness?” Nothing that you do or think or feel in this life is possible without the complex set of reactions carried out by photosynthetic organisms. The carbon cycle–as we know it–is nothing short of life itself. To what extent have you moved beyond the idea that what we study is merely a school subject to an appreciation and mindfulness about the world and how you fit in?

Ask if you have questions, feel stuck, want to try out an idea.

If you will be absent on 8 March, turn in your project before then.

We will designate next Tuesday as a partial work day. And will introduce our next exploration of an Earth Cycle–The Water Cycle and a simulation of rivers and watersheds.

Here is a great example of how the reality of life often goes beyond our simplifications and generalizations. Some students asked this morning if plants could “take in” water through their stomata: http://www.saps.org.uk/secondary/news-and-research/1267-how-plants-can-suck-water-from-the-sky

Several explanations of water movement in very tall trees: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-large-trees-such-a/

See some of the complexity–thanks to Aditya for this find–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UzMaoaXKaM

Summative #1 Earth Cycles

Photosynthesis argument and evidence

  • Display and use the basic simplified claim showing the role of water and carbon dioxide and the production of glucose, oxygen, and new water in photosynthetic organisms.
  • Include information about the site of photosynthesis in photosynthetic organisms.
  • Link firsthand (our activities and experiences) and secondhand (historical experiments and evidence)
  • Include visual representation of claims of photosynthesis (captioned/labeled)
  • Discuss that the simplified claim does not reveal the complex series of reactions involved in photosynthesis. While all the details of these cycles of reactions need not be shown, better projects will mention some of the historical experiments and evidence that have led to understanding of the cycles.
  • Each claim linked with firsthand or documented evidence
  • Must address claims of energy input and output
  • Must address claims of flow of matter
  • Written section explaining how Power School Standards from 3 strands are met
  • SEP
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • CCC
  • Structure and Function
  • Stability and Change
  • DCI
  • M and E in organisms and ecosystems
  • Earth Systems


  • Illustration(s) (not poster size)
  • Poster
  • Slide show
  • sketches and photos / models / something original (you can justify the originality)
  • other—with approval


  • visual (original) representation of claim (accurate–well-done)
  • 3 first hand pieces of evidence–clearly and correctly linked
  • 3 historical pieces of evidence–clearly and correctly linked
  • not all supporting the same part of the claim
  • missing evidence is indicated (what else is needed to establish the claim)
  • discussion of how the claim is simplified
  • due­­­­_8 March at beginning of class–hard copy and digital copy properly uploaded, labeled and shared in your DSN.

About rfrazier

AES profile = http://aes.ac.in/viewprofile.php?u=6946
This entry was posted in Science 8. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *