11:15 AP Bio LP

Erika Sun
AP Biology Lesson Plan
Title: Molecular Pathways: The Flying Photosynthetic Circus
2-day lesson plan
1. The aim of this lesson is to investigate how the chloroplast converts energy from light into
chemical energy (ATP). The focus of this lesson will be on the light reactions.
2. The purpose of this lesson is to have the students discover how the carbon fixation cycle
through building models of the process. Students will learn how glucose is actually produced
in the plant.
Overarching objective for all three days: Students will be able to integrate their knowledge of how
the light-dependent and light-independent reactions work cohesively together to convert light energy
into glucose by working in groups to create dynamic models of both reactions and presenting it to
the class.
• Students will be able to identify the thylakoid membrane as the location of key proteins
involved in the light reactions
• Students will be able to define electron transport chain and explain its role in the light-dependent
reactions of photosynthesis.
• Students will be able to describe the light reactions in photosynthesis.
• Students will be able to describe how the concentration gradient of H+ plays a critical role in the
production of ATP, and relate that back to the oxidative phosphorylation stage of Cellular
• Students will be able to describe the processes of the light independent reactions.
• Students will be able to explain the experiment conducted to discover the cycle.
• BIO 3 (d) – The capture, storage, transformation and flow of energy through the processes
of photosynthesis.
Day 3: Cards that can be flipped ADP to ATP
Cards that can be flipped NADP+ to NADH
Labeled cards for roles (electron carrier, sun, etc)
Poster paper
Prior Knowledge:
Teacher uses Google Classroom to assign homework and assess prior knowledge. The homework
assignment associated with this presentation was reading from EITHER the textbook OR 4 articles
from Khan Academy.
- Both readings provide background knowledge on the EM spectrum, photosynthetic
pigments, an overview of photosynthesis, and the light dependent/independent reactions
Thus, students are expected to come into the lesson with a basic to intermediate level of knowledge
on the mechanics of photosynthesis already.
Erika Sun
AP Biology Lesson Plan
Lesson Plan:
Overview (3 minutes)
11/14/18: Students will be told that they will be completing a performance task for photosynthesis,
which is to identify and teach the rolls of the following terms within the light-dependent and lightindependent processes of photosynthesis:
Light-dependent terms
• Sun
• P680
• P700
• Water molecules/Hydrogen
• Primary electron acceptor for photosystem I
• Primary electron acceptor for photosystem II
• Electron Carriers for Photosystem II
Light-independent terms (Calvin cycle)
• RuBP
• Rubisco
• G3P
Engage: (5 – 7 min)
Students have been given a dynamic lecture overview of the light-dependent reactions the day
before (11/14/18).
- Teacher will have strategically erased certain components of the model, and through cold
call, will ask students to fill in the blanks and hold one another accountable for their learning
o It will go thusly (as an example):
 Me: Athear – what is the first thing that happens during the light-dependent
reactions of photosynthesis?
 Anticipated answer: water is oxidized by P680 for a pair of electrons
 Me: Excellent -– Tazkia: what is so special about P680 that it is able to take
something as electronegative as oxygen’s electrons away from it?
 Anticipated answer: P680 is the most powerful oxidizing agent in the
world, therefore it’s able to oxidize oxygen
 And so on and so forth until we make our way thru all 7 steps
o If a student is wrong, I will have another student identify and correct their
o The cold call nature of the activity will ensure all students are engaged and
accountable for their learning in this activity
Explore: (Days 1 & 2)
11/14/18: (25 min) Teacher will model by first lecturing on the light-dependent reaction
with her own dynamic model and drawing on the whiteboard. The chloroplast, granum, and
thylakoid membranes will have been drawn out in advance in order to (1) contextualize
student knowledge of the location of the light-dependent reactions and (2) model the level
of detail expected in student presentations
o This differentiation scaffold was determined to be needed after the class engaged in a
similar activity with Cell Respiration 2 weeks prior, wherein the teacher wasted time
Erika Sun
AP Biology Lesson Plan
struggling to explain to individual groups of students the expected level of detail
inherent to the project
o Additionally, student feedback on the aforementioned project was taken into
account, and they would have preferred to have a dynamic lecture format before
commencing upon their projects. This feedback was implemented this time around
for photosynthesis.
 Scripted questions for the dynamic lecture:
 When the electrons are released from water molecules, what other products
are formed?
 How is the first electron transport chain similar to the electron transport
chain in cellular respiration?
 Is carbon dioxide involved in the light-dependent reactions? Why or why
 Create an equation for the inputs and outputs of the light-dependent
 Why do you think the light-dependent reaction’s outputs are ATP and
NADPH? Where do the ATP and NADPH produced during the lightdependent reactions go when the process is complete?
 This question is intended to lead into the discussion of the lightindependent reactions
After the dynamic lecture, students will complete questions 8-16 in their AP Biology POGIL
packet in order to solidify their learning.
11/15/18: (20 min): Teacher will model the light-independent reactions through another
dynamic lecture format (similar to the one from the day previous)
Teacher will start with the misconception, where only 1 carbon dioxide molecule enters into
the Calvin cycle
o Once we finish the reduction stage of the Calvin Cycle, the teacher will pause and
ask students whether any G3P is able to leave the Calvin Cycle, and why or why not
 Anticipated answer: No, because there wouldn’t be enough carbons left for
the 3rd stage of the Calvin Cycle (regeneration of the starting molecule,
o Students will then need to calculate how many carbon dioxide molecules need to
enter into the cycle in order for a G3P molecule to be expelled
 Anticipated answer: 3, because G3P contains 3 C’s, which would need a net
entry of 3 extra C atoms
Students will then drive the erasure of the previously incorrect cycle, and instruct the teacher
(via Call and Response) in the steps of Carbon Fixation and Reduction with the new carbon
o This is intended to solidify student learning by preliminarily re-teaching the students
the steps we’d previously gone over, and serves as a tangible example of why the
regeneration of the starting molecule is such an important and difficult step in the
Calvin Cycle
o If time permits, teacher will revisit the Krebs Cycle of respiration and ask students to
compare/contrast the two cycles
Explain: (35 min)
Erika Sun
AP Biology Lesson Plan
11/15/18: The students will present the light reactions as the teacher evaluates them and asks them
stretch-it questions.
- The class will then find a place to spread out and explore the light reactions by creating their
presentations on poster board, using dynamic models of the energy carriers via index cards.
Teacher will model briefly how to do this for the class.
- Students will have laptop computers and copies of the textbook to assist them in their
o Preview into the next lesson (11/16): Students will use Styrofoam balls (or beads)
and toothpicks to model carbon molecules and kinesthetically develop a model for
the Calvin Cycle, to be presented in class
 This scaffold (a more structured presentation format) was also deemed
necessary after the previous iteration of this project with Cellular Respiration,
wherein students struggled with the “dynamic” portion of the dynamic
- Students will be given a rubric on how they will be evaluated on their projects/eventual
Elaborate: (15min)
The class will work independently, in groups, and the teacher will walk around to each group and
check for understanding/ask stretch-it questions
- Questions will be tailored to what the teacher sees going on in each group (unique
misconceptions and issues)
- Universal question:
o Photosynthesis is typically represented by a simple equation.
o 6CO2 + 6H2O + light → C6H12O6 + 6O2
o Why and how is this a vast oversimplification of a complex process?
Students will turn in their Activity sheets (POGILs from yesterday) in for a class
participation grade. This will serve as an exit slip as well.
Students will also be evaluated on their presentations, to be presented on 11/26/18
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