SC.912.L.18.7

Identify the reactants, products, and basic functions of photosynthesis.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Matter and Energy Transformations -

A. All living things are composed of four basic categories of macromolecules and share the same basic needs for life.

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

C. Chemical reactions in living things follow basic rules of chemistry and are usually regulated by enzymes.

D. The unique chemical properties of carbon and water make life on Earth possible.

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

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002110: M/J Comprehensive Science 3, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000310: Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000320: Biology 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000330: Biology 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000430: Biology Technology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
3027010: Biotechnology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000370: Botany (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002400: Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002410: Integrated Science 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002420: Integrated Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002430: Integrated Science 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2003310: Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2003320: Physical Science Honors (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))
2000800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7920015: Access Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
7920025: Access Integrated Science 1 (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))
2000315: Biology 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002405: Integrated Science 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
2002425: Integrated Science 2 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
7920030: Fundamental Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7920035: Fundamental Integrated Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7920022: Access Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.912.L.18.In.2: Identify the products and function of photosynthesis.
SC.912.L.18.Su.2: Recognize that the function of photosynthesis is to produce food for plants.
SC.912.L.18.Pa.2: Recognize that plants need water, light, and air to grow.

Related Resources

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

Lesson Plans

Photosynthesis: Let's Grow This!:

Students will learn the process of photosynthesis by designing an experiment to distinguish between the light and dark stages of photosynthesis.

Type: Lesson Plan

Photosynthesis with Spinach:

This is an engaging lesson using probeware to look at photosynthesis and respiration with spinach leaves.

Type: Lesson Plan

Where'd that come from?!?:

This is a lab activity resource to accompany learning of photosynthesis and the Calvin cycle. Students are able to measure change in water conditions and gaseous production associated with autotrophs.

Type: Lesson Plan

Corn Conundrum:

The Corn Conundrum MEA provides students with an agricultural problem in which they must work as a team to develop a procedure to select the best variety of corn to grow under drier conditions predicted by models of global climate change. Students must determine the most important factors that make planting crops sustainable in restricted climate conditions for the client. The main focus of this MEA is manipulating factors relating to plant biology, including transpiration and photosynthesis.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson 3: Productivity:

 This lesson covers:

•Why microalgae are important to all life on Earth

•How nutrients enter the ocean

•The relationship between microalgae, nutrients, and productivity

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson 5: Harmful Algal Blooms:

 This lesson covers:

•What harmful algal blooms are

•How harmful algal blooms occur

•Different types of harmful algal blooms and where they occur in Florida

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Photosynthesis: Capturing the Sun's Energy to Create Sugar:

Learn how to identify and describe the role of all of the major molecules needed for photosynthesis. You'll also be able to explain the role that photosynthesis plays in capturing carbon from the atmosphere to produce sugars. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Invasive Ants and Competition in the Kenyan Savannah:

Patrick Milligan shares his research on invasive ant species in the Kenyan savannah.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Photosynthesis in Space:

A NASA botanist explains how studying photosynthesis now can help feed astronauts in the future.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Photosynthesis or Cellular Respiration?:

Get organized with charts to help you understand major biochemical processes!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Presentation/Slideshow

Cell Processes and Energy: Photosynthesis and Respirataion:

This presentation, a narrated PowerPoint, provides detailed information regarding photosynthesis and cellular respiration. It is provided by a teacher for his students, but is well-done and engaging enough to be useful for other students.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Text Resource

Captured: The Moment Photosynthesis Changed the World:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Geologists have made an important discovery about the origins of photosynthesis. According to evidence in South African rocks, before organisms were using water as the electron source for photosynthesis, they were using manganese - these rocks formed in anoxic conditions, but contain oxidized manganese. This evolution of photosynthetic organisms, which released atmospheric oxygen, laid the groundwork for more complex life forms, such as animals, to come into existence.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle:


This tutorial is a step by step explanation of what occurs in photosynthesis during the Calvin Cycle. It describes and uses visuals for the chemical reactions in this biochemical pathway. This challenging tutorial addresses the standard at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Light Reaction:


This tutorial shows and describes what occurs during the light reactions of photosynthesis which is the first stage of photosynthesis when plants capture and store energy from sunlight. In this process, light energy is converted into chemical energy, in the form of the energy-carrying molecules ATP and NADPH.

Type: Tutorial

CAM Plants:

This Khan Academy video explains how CAM plants fix carbon dioxide at night so they do not lose water by opening their stomata during the day.

Type: Tutorial

C4 Photosynthesis:

The Khan Academy video discusses how some plants avoid photorespiration by fixing carbon in the bundle sheath cells instead of the mesophylll cells.

Type: Tutorial

Photorespiration:

This Khan Academy video reviews the Calvin Cycle in C3 photosynthesis and discusses the reactants and products of this process. The video then describes photorespiration which is what occurs when the enzyme RuBisCO fixes oxygen instead of carbon dioxide and explains why this is considered an inefficient pathway for plants.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Light Reactions:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains in detail the process of the light reactions of photosynthesis including the importance of the thylakoid membrane and the products that are produced from this reaction.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains how the by-products from the light reactions of photosynthesis are used to produce sugar molecules in the Calvin Cycle.

Type: Tutorial

Calvin Cycle:

The Calvin cycle is a metabolic pathway found in the stroma of plant chloroplasts in which carbon enters in the form of carbon dioxide and leaves in the form of sugar. This tutorial will help you to understand how the Calvin cycle works.

This challenging tutorial addresses the standard at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Mirror Processes:

This tutorial will help students to understand that both the process of photosynthesis and cellular respiration use hydrogen ions and high-energy electrons to make molecules of ATP. Learners will be able to compare the light dependent reactions of photosynthesis and the electron transport chain of cellular respiration.

Type: Tutorial

The Simple Story of Photosynthesis and Food :

Photosynthesis is an essential part of the exchange between humans and plants. Amanda Ooten walks us through the process of photosynthesis, also discussing the relationship between photosynthesis and carbohydrates, starch, and fiber -- and how the air we breathe is related to the food we ingest.

Type: Tutorial

Nature's Smallest Factory: The Calvin Cycle:

A hearty bowl of cereal gives you the energy to start your day, but how exactly did that energy make its way into your bowl? It all begins with photosynthesis, the process that converts the air we breathe into energizing glucose. Cathy Symington details the highly efficient second phase of photosynthesis -- called the Calvin cycle -- which converts carbon dioxide into sugar with some clever mix-and-match math.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animations

Photosynthesis:

  • Observe the photosynthesis mechanism in the plant
  • Learn about the main chemical reactions that takes place during photosynthesis
  • Learn how solar energy is converted into chemical energy

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

MIT BLOSSOMS - Roots, Shoots, and Wood:

The topic of photosynthesis is a fundamental concept in biology, chemistry, and earth science. Educational studies have found that despite classroom presentations, most students retain their naïve idea that a plant's mass is mostly derived from the soil, and not from the air. To call students' attention to this misconception, at the beginning of this lesson we will provide a surprising experimental result so that students will confront their mental mistake. Next, we will help students better envision photosynthesis by modeling where the atoms come from in this important process that produces food for the planet. This lesson can be completed in 50-60 minutes, with the students working on in-class activities during 20-25 minutes of the lesson. As a prerequisite, students need an introductory lesson on photosynthesis, something that includes the overall chemical equation. If students have already studied the intracellular photosynthetic process in detail, this video can still be very helpful because students often miss the big picture about photosynthesis. Materials needed include red, white and black LEGO bricks (described in downloadable hand-out) or strips of red, white and black paper plus paper clips (directions provided in downloadable hand-out). In addition to class discussions, the major in-class activity of this video involves the students' modeling with LEGO® bricks or colored paper where the atoms come from in photosynthesis.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Cellular Respiration:

These animations show cell respiration as a big picture, and then go through the steps of cellular respiration: glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and electron transport. Each animation is short and to the point.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis:

This video provides an overview of photosynthesis.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis animation and other cell processes in animation:

This site has fantastic short Flash animations of intricate cell processes, including photosynthesis and the electron transport chain.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis: Light Reactions and Photophosphorylation:

This video gives more detail on the light reaction and photophosphorylation that occur in photosynthesis.


Type: Video/Audio/Animation

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Corn Conundrum:

The Corn Conundrum MEA provides students with an agricultural problem in which they must work as a team to develop a procedure to select the best variety of corn to grow under drier conditions predicted by models of global climate change. Students must determine the most important factors that make planting crops sustainable in restricted climate conditions for the client. The main focus of this MEA is manipulating factors relating to plant biology, including transpiration and photosynthesis.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades 9-12

Photosynthesis: Capturing the Sun's Energy to Create Sugar:

Learn how to identify and describe the role of all of the major molecules needed for photosynthesis. You'll also be able to explain the role that photosynthesis plays in capturing carbon from the atmosphere to produce sugars. 

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorial

Photosynthesis: Capturing the Sun's Energy to Create Sugar:

Learn how to identify and describe the role of all of the major molecules needed for photosynthesis. You'll also be able to explain the role that photosynthesis plays in capturing carbon from the atmosphere to produce sugars. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Expert

Photosynthesis in Space:

A NASA botanist explains how studying photosynthesis now can help feed astronauts in the future.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Presentation/Slideshow

Cell Processes and Energy: Photosynthesis and Respirataion:

This presentation, a narrated PowerPoint, provides detailed information regarding photosynthesis and cellular respiration. It is provided by a teacher for his students, but is well-done and engaging enough to be useful for other students.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Tutorials

Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle:


This tutorial is a step by step explanation of what occurs in photosynthesis during the Calvin Cycle. It describes and uses visuals for the chemical reactions in this biochemical pathway. This challenging tutorial addresses the standard at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Light Reaction:


This tutorial shows and describes what occurs during the light reactions of photosynthesis which is the first stage of photosynthesis when plants capture and store energy from sunlight. In this process, light energy is converted into chemical energy, in the form of the energy-carrying molecules ATP and NADPH.

Type: Tutorial

CAM Plants:

This Khan Academy video explains how CAM plants fix carbon dioxide at night so they do not lose water by opening their stomata during the day.

Type: Tutorial

C4 Photosynthesis:

The Khan Academy video discusses how some plants avoid photorespiration by fixing carbon in the bundle sheath cells instead of the mesophylll cells.

Type: Tutorial

Photorespiration:

This Khan Academy video reviews the Calvin Cycle in C3 photosynthesis and discusses the reactants and products of this process. The video then describes photorespiration which is what occurs when the enzyme RuBisCO fixes oxygen instead of carbon dioxide and explains why this is considered an inefficient pathway for plants.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Light Reactions:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains in detail the process of the light reactions of photosynthesis including the importance of the thylakoid membrane and the products that are produced from this reaction.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains how the by-products from the light reactions of photosynthesis are used to produce sugar molecules in the Calvin Cycle.

Type: Tutorial

Calvin Cycle:

The Calvin cycle is a metabolic pathway found in the stroma of plant chloroplasts in which carbon enters in the form of carbon dioxide and leaves in the form of sugar. This tutorial will help you to understand how the Calvin cycle works.

This challenging tutorial addresses the standard at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Mirror Processes:

This tutorial will help students to understand that both the process of photosynthesis and cellular respiration use hydrogen ions and high-energy electrons to make molecules of ATP. Learners will be able to compare the light dependent reactions of photosynthesis and the electron transport chain of cellular respiration.

Type: Tutorial

The Simple Story of Photosynthesis and Food :

Photosynthesis is an essential part of the exchange between humans and plants. Amanda Ooten walks us through the process of photosynthesis, also discussing the relationship between photosynthesis and carbohydrates, starch, and fiber -- and how the air we breathe is related to the food we ingest.

Type: Tutorial

Nature's Smallest Factory: The Calvin Cycle:

A hearty bowl of cereal gives you the energy to start your day, but how exactly did that energy make its way into your bowl? It all begins with photosynthesis, the process that converts the air we breathe into energizing glucose. Cathy Symington details the highly efficient second phase of photosynthesis -- called the Calvin cycle -- which converts carbon dioxide into sugar with some clever mix-and-match math.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animations

Photosynthesis:

  • Observe the photosynthesis mechanism in the plant
  • Learn about the main chemical reactions that takes place during photosynthesis
  • Learn how solar energy is converted into chemical energy

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis:

This video provides an overview of photosynthesis.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis animation and other cell processes in animation:

This site has fantastic short Flash animations of intricate cell processes, including photosynthesis and the electron transport chain.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis: Light Reactions and Photophosphorylation:

This video gives more detail on the light reaction and photophosphorylation that occur in photosynthesis.


Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

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

Perspectives Video: Expert

Photosynthesis in Space:

A NASA botanist explains how studying photosynthesis now can help feed astronauts in the future.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Presentation/Slideshow

Cell Processes and Energy: Photosynthesis and Respirataion:

This presentation, a narrated PowerPoint, provides detailed information regarding photosynthesis and cellular respiration. It is provided by a teacher for his students, but is well-done and engaging enough to be useful for other students.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow