Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cartoons and Music: Planning Winter Science Lessons?

If you think science in December is difficult, you might enjoy this cartoon, which mentions December, and brings some vocabulary to the viewers' attention. While it needs more, "science," to make the lesson, it is an interesting way to start a class learning about plant structure and photosynthesis.

Where will you go from here? What lesson ideas did the cartoon give you?

Search You-tube for another video with, "Photosynthesis," as the theme. There are several available. For example:
(Source:, TakTakTinnna: Mr. Durand singing the photosynthesis song, accessed 9-29-08),
or, here is a photosynthesis rapp created by students. (Source:, Boris, Anthony, and, Brandon, with Gino as, "the beat", teach photosynthesis in Ms. Stokes' Bio, accessed 9-29-08)

another rap found here, by more students, "ingoldby and sherry."

You can see all the students are still learning. Look how far Boris, Anthony, Brandon, Gino, Ingoldby, and, Sherry have come already. It takes a lot of courage to get up in front of the class to talk about photosynthesis, let alone, rap. Can you provide a beat like that and rap? Congratulations, gentlemen. When your CDs come out, let us know!

You can also develop your own song. You might be able to use National Institute of Environmental Health music links to help you develop your own photosynthesis songs.

Students might write an essay or draw a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the animated cartoon with a video on photosynthesis that you find or create. Be sure to help students learn to check for technical accuracy. For example, if plants are thought to be a separate group from trees, that is not accurate. Students can understand that there are herbaceous plants, or, "herbs," and woody plants, or, "trees." Both herbs and trees are plants that photosynthesize.

Any time students read material, watch TV, or scan the internet, they need to think deeply about what information they gain, and assess if the material presented is accurate. Studying photosynthesis is no different. Have fun as you study plants.

Dr. J

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