You are on page 1of 8

Alaina Kunselman/9th Grade Biology/???

Intro to Photosynthesis
I. Topic
The goal of this lesson is to for the students to use their knowledge that they
learned about cellular respiration in the last chapter to begin to understand the
process of photosynthesis. In this lesson we will discuss the overall process and the
structure of plants that allow them to participate in photosynthesis. We will also
discuss in detail the light dependent reactions of photosynthesis.
Vocabulary: Photosynthesis, Light dependent reactions, Calvin Cycle,
Chloroplast, Chlorophyll, Thylakoid, Grana, Stroma, Photosystem I and II, Electron
Transport Chain, Cytochrome complex, Mobile Electron Carrier, NADP+ Reductase,
II. Objectives and Standards
1. Following teacher lecture, visuals, discussion and demonstration the
students will be able to complete a worksheet for homework about the overview of
all of photosynthesis, and the details about light dependent reactions to 85%
accuracy. (Standard 3.1.B.A2)
III. Teaching Procedures
1. Introduction-Anticipatory Set

Appeal to what many ninth graders like-Play 15 second

SpongeBob clip Photosynthesis
Ask the students if they know what we are going to discuss
today and when they say photosynthesis ask them what they
already know about it.
After they have had a chance to share their knowledge explain
that today we are going to begin a unit on photosynthesis.
Today will be a broad overview of the topic, and then throughout
the next few classes we will talk about each step of the process
in more detail.

2. Development A


Ask the students jot down the chemical equation for cellular
respiration. The students just learned about this in the last
chapter, so they should remember it. Quickly walk around the
room to make sure they wrote something down.
Ask someone to share the answer and then write it on the board
o CHO + 6O 6CO + 6HO + energy
Explain that photosynthesis is the exact opposite of the process
of cellular respiration. With that being said ask them if they can
raise their hands and help you to write down the equation for

photosynthesis. If someone is able, write it down as the

students say it. If not write the equation on the board and point
out what it means for it to be the reverse reaction of cellular
o 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + energy 6O2 + CHO
Pick apart the equation and explain that where each part of the
equation comes form or what it is used for-ask for volunteers for
each part-while doing this jot down notes on the board.
o CO2 for us its a waste products but plants need it
o H2O-Absorbed from the Ground
o Energy- absorbed from Sunlight
o O2-Humans need; waste for plants
o Glucose-energy that the plant uses
The whole process of photosynthesis occurs within organelles
called the chloroplasts in the plant. (Put up picture of
chloroplast on the powerpoint-right now it is not labeled)
It is important for us to understand the structure of the
chloroplast so that we can talk more in-depth about the process
of photosynthesis.
Chlorophyll is what makes plants look green. Ask the class to
pair up and discuss why plants look green.
Ask some of the groups to share their theories.
Put up a picture of the visible light spectrum.
Using the picture explain that when you are looking at an object
the color that you see is what that object is reflecting. All of the
other wavelengths of light are absorbed. Chlorophyll absorbs all
of the wavelengths except the green wavelength so that is what
you see with your eyes.
As we go through the parts of the chloroplast point out and
label them on the diagram.
Photosynthesis occurs in two separate steps that occur in 2
different parts of the chloroplast. These parts are the thylakoid
and the stroma.
1. The chlorophyll is contained in the first part called thylakoids.
Thylakoids are flattened sacs made up of lots of membranes.
The empty space inside of the thylakoid is called the lumen.
These membranes contain the chlorophyll. Thylakoids are found
within the chloroplast in stacks called grana.
2. The other important part of the chloroplast is the stroma. The
stroma is fluid that surround the grana. This is like the
cytoplasm of the chloroplast.
Does anyone have any questions about the structure of the
The two separate steps of photosynthesis that I mentioned
before are called the light dependent reactions and the light
independent reactions.

The light dependent reactions take place in the thylakoid

membrane. These reactions used the energy from the sunlight
to (after many steps) produce energy that drives the next part of
photosynthesis called the light-independent reactions.
The light independent reactions take place in the stroma. This is
also known as the Calvin Cycle. This part doesnt use energy
directly from the sun which is why it is called light-independent.
It is driven by energy that comes from the light dependent
reactions in the thylakoid. Through another series of reactions
this part of the process forms sugar to be used by the plant and
excess oxygen is removed.
That was an overview of the whole process of photosynthesis.
Does anyone have any questions?

3. Independent Practice A

Before we go more in-depth I would like to check your

understanding, so take out a piece of scratch paper and write
down the answers to a few questions.
Put the questions up on the powerpoint.
o Where is the chlorophyll located in the chloroplast?
o What is a stack of thylakoids called?
o What is the liquid part of the chloroplast called?
o What part of the chloroplast do light independent
reactions occur in? Light dependent?
o What is another name for the light-independent
o Does it matter what order the light dependent and light
independent reactions occur in?
Give the students a 3-4 minutes to write down the answers. Go
around and make sure that they are getting the majority of them
right, and if not stop to help any student that is struggling.
Go over the answers
o Thylakoid membrane
o Grana (Granum)
o Stroma
o Ind-Stroma and Dep-Thylakoid membrane
o Calvin Cycle
o Yes-light dependent reactions provide energy for the
Calvin Cycle so light dependent have to come first
Any questions?

2. Development B

Now we are going to move on to discussing the light-dependent

reactions much more in-depth.
As we already know the light dependent reactions occur in the
thylakoid membrane.


As we go along draw a diagram on the board of

everything that we discuss. Sample diagram attached.
The chlorophyll is contained in a protein complex in the
thylakoid membrane called Photosystem II (PSII).
Light from the sun in the form what is called a photon (a packet
of light) hits the chlorophyll in PSII. When this happens the
energy from the light excites electrons.
o What do I mean by exciting an electron?
The electron gains a lot of energy
The excited electron in PSII is taken away from PSII by a mobile
electron carrier.
PSII then splits H2O to replace the electron that is just lost. This
split causes there to be electrons, protons (H+) and oxygen
o The H+ stay in the lumen of the thylakoid-dont forget
about them they are important later. These are protons.
The mobile electron carrier takes the electrons to another
protein complex called the cytochrome complex. It uses the
energy from this electron to pump a hydrogen ion (proton) into
the lumen of the thylakoid.
Does anyone know why this might be happening? Think, Pair up,
and discuss.
o Have some students share.
o Remember in Cellular Respiration when we talked about
concentration gradients?
Show of hands-when energy is not involved do
things move from high to low concentration or low
to high.
High to low-This is what is happening here. When
there gets to be a lot of protons in the lumen of the
thylakoid some of them want to get out. There only
escape is to go through a protein called ATP
ATP synthase uses the energy from the
protons passing through it to add a
phosphate to ADP to make ATP which is a
very important source of energy for the
Calvin Cycle.
Now that our electron has made it all this way and has used its
energy to pump protons it needs to be re-energized. It is
transferred from the cytochrome complex by another mobile
electron carrier to another protein complex called Photosystem I
(PSI). This also contains chlorophyll, so the light that it absorbs
allows our electron to become excited again.
o Dont get confused! PSII does come before PSI for reasons
that we arent concerned with in this level of biology. If
you would like to talk about it catch me after class.

When the electrons are excited they find another electron carrier
and are transferred to and enzyme (protein) called NADP+
Reductase. The energy form the electrons is used to add a
proton to NADP+ to make NADPH which is another energy
molecule that will be sent to be used in the Calvin Cycle in the
The whole journey that this electron goes through is called the
electron transport chain (ETC).
I know that was a lot of information to digest. Does anyone have
any questions?

3. Guided Practice B

Now we are going to review what we just learned by acting out

the ETC
o Need Volunteers to be
2 photons
Electron (outgoing student willing to act out a lot)
3 mobile electron carriers (1,2, 3)
Cytochrome Complex
NADP+ Reductase
*Give each volunteer a Notecard with their title on it

8 mins

Instruct the student to stand in the proper order indicated

by the diagram that was drawn during class.
Photons stand off to the side to begin
Electron start holding onto PSII looking very tired
The teacher will be narrating
1. A photon from the sun containing energy hits the
chlorophyll contained in PSII. (Photon 1 bumps into
PSII) The energy from this photon causes the
electron to become excited (the electron jumps up)
2. The first mobile electron carrier transports the
excited electron to the cytochrome complex
(electron carrier one carries or pretends to carry
the electron to cytochrome complex)
3. The electron loses some energy to the
cytochrome complex that the cytochrome complex
uses to pump H+ into the lumen (electron high
fives cytochrome and begins to look tired again)
Remember! In this demonstration we are
only talking about the journey of the
electron, but there is something else going
on simultaneouslywhat is it?

The hydrogen ions are creating a

concentration gradient and when they
pass from the lumen of the thylakoid
to the stroma they pass through ATP
Synthase and allow ADP to be
converted to ATP-energy for Calvin
4. As you can see our electron is running out of
energy (Carrier 2 carries electron to PSI) Good thing
we made it to PSI (electron looking tired holding
onto PSI) Another photon of light will re-energize
our electron. (photon 2 bumps into PSI and electron
become excited again)
5. Our electron has made it all the way through the
chain, but it has to move onto one more protein
(carrier 3 carry electron from PSI to NADP+
6. Our electrons journey comes to an end here
when it uses its energy to convert NADP+ to
NADPH (electron high fives NADP+ Reductase who
becomes very excited and electron becomes tired
again). NADPH is also energy that will be used in
the Calvin Cycle.
I hope that demonstration helped you to
understand the Electron Transport Chain/Light
Dependent Reactions a little bit better.

3. Independent Practice B

Assign worksheet for homework. (Attached)

4. Closure

Explain to the students that mastering the information that we

learned today is critical to moving on to the Calvin Cycle.
We will review your homework at the beginning of next class,
and clear up any confusions that there may be.
I encourage you to look at the plant all around you when you
leave school today, and realize just how much is going on within
their leaves to make them survive and look the way they do.
Photosynthesis is happening all around us, and without it we
wouldnt be here.

IV. Materials
Powerpoint slides with chloroplast and Independent Practice Questions,
Projector, Chalk, Chalkboard, Enough copies of the homework for the whole
class, Signs to identify the students in the demonstration
V. Adaptations/Plan Modifications

There is a student in my class with the hearing impairment and full time
interpreter. I will make sure to speak slowly enough so that the interpreter can keep
up with me, and I will make sure they have space in the room to do their job. I will
make sure that the student can very clearly read everything I am writing down, and
I will provide the student with a note sheet and diagram to fill in since he will not be
able to take notes as quickly off from my lecture. Also I will make the signs for the
demonstration large enough for the student to be able to read, so that he can follow
VI. Evaluation
Formative Assessment: Questioning, Think-Pair-Share, Show of hands, Write
down answers and check, Demonstration, Homework Sheet
Summative Assessment: At the end of the photosynthesis unit a test worth 50
points will be given to test their knowledge as a whole on the topic.
VII. Reflection
1. Did the students come in with the understanding of Cellular Respiration like
I expected to make this a little bit easier for them? Did the students take
notes efficiently as I was lecturing? Did the students gain a better
understanding of the process from the demonstration? (if not what could I do
to help them better understand?) Did the students complete their homework
to 85% accuracy?
2. Did I move at a good pace? Did the whole lesson flow together well? Did I
engage all of my students in the lesson?

Photosynthesis Worksheet
1. What is the overall reaction for photosynthesis?

2. How does this compare to the overall reaction for cellular respiration?

3. Where does the energy for photosynthesis come from?

4. Where is chlorophyll located?

5. Explain why chlorophyll appears green to us in terms of what happens to

different wavelengths of light that strike a chlorophyll molecule.

6. In what organelle of a plant cell does photosynthesis take place?

7. What are the two stages of photosynthesis?
8. In which part of the chloroplast does each stage occur?
9. What happens to water molecules in the light reactions?

What photosynthesis waste product is formed in the light reactions?

11. List the order of proteins that the electron stops at throughout the ETC.
(There are 4)

What two products of the light reactions are used in the Calvin cycle?