Educational Songs with Free Worksheets

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Photosynthesis

Teaching photosynthesis with rap: an educational song about oxygen, carbon dioxide, light and dark (Calvin) cycles.

Contains: 4 versions of the song, PDF worksheets, and answer keys. Price: $3.99

This song makes it easy to learn how photosynthesis works. This in-depth description of the oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle describes the chemical reactions, light cycle, and dark cycle (aka Calvin cycle) that convert solar energy into chemical energy. The song begins with a simplified photosynthesis overview, including how plants absorb carbon dioxide and expel oxygen, before explaining the system in more detail. Who knew you could rhyme ATP and NADPH? The teaching materials, including puzzles and worksheets, help scientists, teachers and homeschool parents create lesson plans for the song topics. Students will become more conversant with the photosynthesis process.

This science song is suitable for teaching photosynthesis to advanced elementary school (5th grade and 6th grade), middle school, high school and home school students, as well as beginning level college classes.
Chorus
Photosynthesis, let’s get into this
Discussion of sunlight, and transfer of energy.
Photosynthesis, let’s get into this
Process of chemical reactions and synergy.

Verse I
Plants take water, sun, and CO2,
to make glucose: the sugar that they use for food
They also put oxygen into the air
So we can share, because oxygen is everywhere
The energy transforms from solar to chemical
All the time, everywhere, the process is identical
In every plant, and every tree
Enabling all living things to be

Chorus

Verse II
Let’s take a look at the light reaction
Making chemical energy when light is captured
electrons flow through the photo systems
Flowing so fast you might have missed ‘em
Within the chloroplast lies the action
The thylakoid membrane is where it happens
ATP and NADPH
Are products of light, water, air, and space

Chorus

Verse III
The Calvin cycle, or dark reaction
Doesn’t need direct sunlight for it to run right.
CO2 from the air enters the chloroplast
Mixing with organic molecules for the last time
With the help of the enzyme Rubisco
Carbon Fixation—I thought you knew this yo!
It forms a carbohydrate known as G3P
It’s created, recreated, and recycled you see

Chorus

Bridge
Leaves on trees and even weeds meet needs
Making oxygen we need to breathe
You want to learn it with ease? You want to master the keys?
It’s photosynthesis, listen to this please

Chorus

Reading

FT Exploring.com
Photosynthesis
This site is for younger students and has a nice humorous feeling to the information without being silly.
Grades 3-6

Northeastern Area State & Forestry
Why Leaves Change Color
This website gives a detailed account of photosynthesis. Good information. Extensive.
Grades 5-12

Rader’s Biology4Kids
Photosynthesis
This website has a step-by-step breakdown of the process of photosynthesis. Easy to understand.
Grades 3-6

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Why Leaves Change Color
This website gives a brief overview of the process of photosynthesis, focusing on how and why leaves change color.
Grades 4-9

Lesson Plans & Activities

The Great Plant Escape
Plant Detective
This site has students follow a “plant” case like a detective would. Charming and full of good information. Text is available in English and Spanish.
Grades 3-5

Columbia Education Center
Photosynthesis and Transpiration
This experiment involves the growing of pea plants to observe how photosynthesis and transpiration work. Relatively easy to do.
Grades 6-8

Discovery Education
Yummy Plant Parts
This classroom experiment teaches students in great detail about the parts of plants by using vegetables as subjects, and their importance to the lives of humans. Tissue samples from the vegetables are also analyzed. Some vocabulary and additional projects. Excellent project.
Grades 6-8, 9-12

Newton’s Apple.tv
Leaf change
Good information with an easy experiment.
Grades 3-9

Education World: The Educator’s Best Friend
Photosynthesis: Don’t “Leaf” Out Fall’s Most Valuable Lesson!
This article has several classroom activity ideas regarding photosynthesis, including projects with real leaves. It also contains links to other resources.
Grades 1-12

Photosynthesis: Why Leaves Change Color
This website provides a True/False quiz for students to take after reading the provided informational link.
Grades 3-9

My Science Box
Cell Energy (Photosynthesis and Respiration)
This site has detailed instructions for six different experiments, all geared towards helping students better understand the process of photosynthesis, aka the oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle. It also features background information to help students understand context.
Grades 6-8, 9-12

National Geographic Xpeditions
Photosynthesis, Trees, and the Greenhouse Effect
In this lesson, students will study photosynthesis and then transfer their understanding of this topic to a consideration of how trees can help reduce the negative impacts of the greenhouse effect. The website also includes helpful links to other resources about photosynthesis.
Grades 6-9

PBS NOVA Online
Illuminating Photosynthesis
This feature takes a look at the oxygen/carbon dioxide cycle, the molecular distribution, and at the process of photosynthesis. Also included are a few puzzlers. Easily understood with good illustration.
Grades 6-12

Teaching Today
Photosynthesis
This experiment explains the role of pigments in photosynthesis. This site offers different types of approaches depending on student’s learning modality. Well done effort to incorporate learning for all students in a classroom.
Grades 6-8

Media

John Kyrk
Photosynthesis (animation)
This site features a clever animated outline of the process of photosynthesis. Though difficult for students who may be color-blind, the text is available in many languages including Spanish and French. Extremely well done. Excellent for chemistry students too.
Grades 6-12

Teacher’s Domain
Photosynthesis (video)
This is a video segment from NOVA: Earth that explains plant biology and our present-day understanding of photosynthesis. It has closed caption for hard-of- hearing students or if viewed where audio cannot be used.
Grades 3-12

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