SC.8.L.18.3

Construct a scientific model of the carbon cycle to show how matter and energy are continuously transferred within and between organisms and their physical environment.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 8
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: Matter and Energy Transformations -

A. Living things all share basic needs for life.

B. Living organisms acquire the energy they need for life processes through various metabolic pathways (photosynthesis and cellular respiration).

C. Matter and energy are recycled through cycles such as the carbon cycle.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002100: M/J Comprehensive Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002110: M/J Comprehensive Science 3, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7820017: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000025: M/J STEM Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.8.L.18.Pa.2: Recognize that food provides energy.
SC.8.L.18.In.3: Illustrate a model that shows how carbon is cycled between plants and animals.
SC.8.L.18.Su.3: Recognize that plants use the carbon dioxide that animals breathe out.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Carbon and Climate:

Students will collect and analyze data on the movement of carbon atoms through the carbon cycle. Students will be introduced to climate change caused by greenhouse gases and participate in a simulation of the carbon cycle. Students will develop an understanding of how the movement of carbon atoms can contribute to climate change. Students will model the carbon cycle.

Type: Lesson Plan

Carbon Cycle Card Game:

In this lesson, students will create carbon cycle character game cards and work in small groups to play a turn-based game. They will play the game by placing their own card on a central card pile to identify the next step in the carbon cycle. As each card is played, the players will then brainstorm on how the carbon atom was transferred from the previous card to the recently-played card. The final activity will involve student groups creating a poster model of their carbon atom journey and going on a 'gallery walk' to observe the carbon cycles of other groups. Each set of cards is unique because it is produced by the students!

Type: Lesson Plan

Is a Cycle a Circle? The Carbon Cycle:

This is an active learning lesson plan in which students will act as carbon atoms and move through various stages of the carbon cycle. They will visit the living and nonliving parts of the carbon cycle and record which reservoirs they visit. They will then compare their journey to that of other students. The culminating activity will involve students completing a drawn model of the carbon cycle that explains each of the possible steps.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Timeline of a Hypothetical Carbon Atom with a Narrative:

This lesson is designed to have students investigate the possible path that a hypothetical atom of carbon could have taken before it ended up in them. The students, in groups, will first brainstorm all the information they know about carbon. They will then be given twenty flash cards. The students will be asked to depict five placements of the carbon longitudinally through time, with approximate dates, until it ends up in them in present day. The students will gather information from class discussion and the cards themselves in order to portray the possible path. After the timeline is completed, the students will be asked to compose a narrative from the perspective of the hypothetical carbon atom that will describe each of the events in the timeline.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Link between Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration:

This is a lesson that addresses standards and misconceptions associated with Big Idea 18 about Matter and Energy Transformations as related to photosynthesis and cellular respiration. The lesson also embeds a review of other related standards for which the students possesses prior knowledge. The lesson is vertically aligned to review classification of organisms, taxonomy, and build from related introductory activities into learning about cell types, organelles and their structures, and functions, with an emphasis on the chloroplast and the mitochondrion and their role in photosynthesis and cellular respiration. The lesson scaffolds text coding, note taking, charting, answering media dependent questions and culminates in a summative written essay assessment. An alternative short response exam has been included which could be used as an exam or the questions could be used as formative questions throughout the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Non-Stop Action: Carbon:

Students will learn about the carbon cycle through videos, notes, model building, and culminate with written responses.

Type: Lesson Plan

Traveling Carbon Atoms:

Students will play the role of a carbon atom and will move to different stations in the class room learning about ways in which carbon can move between and among organisms and their environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Knights of the Round and Round Table-The Carbon Cycle:

Follow our quest to learn how the element carbon is cycled on Earth with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Solving Systems of Equations, Oceans & Climate:

Angela Dial discusses how she solves systems of equations to determine how the composition of ocean floor sediment has changed over 65 million years to help reveal more information regarding climate change.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Professional Development

A Sea Change:

This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their curriculum. This tutorial focuses on determining an author's purpose and point of view. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Professional Development

Text Resources

Getting the Dirt on Carbon:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Carbon, an essential part of life on Earth, exists in a never-ending cycle. It is continually moving back and forth between living and non-living factors, as well as from organism to organism. Soil, with its ability to "lock up" carbon, plays a major role in the carbon cycle. Atmospheric CO2 levels are linked to climate change, so ways of keeping carbon locked in soil are of great interest to scientists.

Type: Text Resource

Changing Seas:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text explains how carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is changing the oceans. The text describes ocean acidification and ocean warming. The text gives examples of ecosystems that are changing as a result.

Type: Text Resource

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Biogeochemical cycles:

This unit/ lesson sequence describes the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen. It includes descriptions of class room inquiry-based activities including worksheets and assessment items.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Knights of the Round and Round Table-The Carbon Cycle:

Follow our quest to learn how the element carbon is cycled on Earth with this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Knights of the Round and Round Table-The Carbon Cycle:

Follow our quest to learn how the element carbon is cycled on Earth with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.