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Light Energy in Life Science

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Rochelle Tamiya Rochelle Tamiya 4095 Points

After completing the Light Energy scipack, I'm at a quandry of how to incorporate these lessons into a Life Science (7th grade) curriculum. During the 4th quarter, we will be investigating Ecology/sustainability/conservation concepts/issues with focus on native vs. invasive/introduced flora and fauna as well as food and energy webs and cycles (water, nitrogen, carbon). I was considering incorporating rainbows into my lessons but am in need of more creative ideas....I would appreciate any input...

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

Hi Rochelle,
You may find some teaching ideas from the SciGuides that include lessons on the nature of light.
Here are two:
Nature of Light
Coral Reef Ecosystems
The second one sounds like it may be of particular value. What's nice about the SciGuides is that they compliment the SciPacks and provide lesson plans, interactive simulations and websites to use in the classroom.
I hope this helps.
Carolyn

Lori Towata Lori Towata 2825 Points

Hi Rochelle, I'm a third-grade teacher in Hawaii, so take what I say with a grain of salt, since I'm not aware of what connections you could make about light and life science at your level. I've actually completed the coral reef scipack and tried out lessons/activities based on light, so I'm thinking you could make associations with how sunlight impacts coral reef development. I was trying to think how you could associate rainbows with life science, but it's primarily a water-cycle associated topic, so you'll have to be really creative. In any case, I tend to collect lots of materials and realized that I had some elementary resources that you could adapt to your level. It's multiple files, so I'm going to try to figure out how to upload it as a collection. I may need some time to get it together.

Travis Toriano Travis Toriano 990 Points

Hi Rochelle, There are a couple of great ideas posted here. The one about light intensity got me thinking about possibly using different colored light bulbs as a variable to check a plants growth rate. I don't know if that's exactly possible but it seems like it could be used to draw comparisons to a rainbow in some manner.

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25635 Points

If you have any light sensors (maybe you could borrow them from high school?) you could have students look at micro habitats. That is, where are specific macro invertebrates found (ants, spiders, etc). Do they like a specific temperature and/or light?

Rochelle Tamiya Rochelle Tamiya 4095 Points

Thank you everyone for your enLIGHTening suggestions! Sometimes (for me more often then not), I can get so focused on a certain task/outcome that suggestions like the ones you've all given are not even part of my thought process...these were all so helpful and very do-able. Although elementary teachers often feel that their level may not be something we (intermediate and high school teachers) consider, trust me, they are sometimes the exact ones we are looking for!- so thank you for that! The effects of light (color/distance) on plants sounds like an interesting one but would need to figure out how to get a hold of lamps. Any ideas/cost effective suggestions? The affect of light on micro/macro organisms also sounds like such a great idea and may be an even easier one logistically. Maybe I can do a tank with plants, snails and guppies in the dark versus one exposed to light? Thank you again, and please keep your suggestions coming...I appreciate them all!!

Travis Toriano Travis Toriano 990 Points

Here's a great lab that can be used as a supplement to teaching photosynthesis. In the lab iodine is used to identify the presence of starch in plants. Two leaves are tested for glucose production; a leaf exposed to sun and one which was covered by foil. It really turned out great and the students were very entertained. Best of all it was cheap and easy to do! http://pulse.pharmacy.arizona.edu/10th_grade/dawn_new/science/sugar_light.html

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

Another Light Energy in Life Science was started after this one. Here is the link for those interested in this topic: Light Energy in Life Science from April 2nd and on...
:-)

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