In this activity, students will look at the different processes in the carbon cycle in more detail. They will create a spider map that describes each process and includes the word equation of each chemical reaction. Stretch your students even further by asking them to include the symbol equation for each reaction as well.
Combustion is more commonly known as burning. Humans use this chemical reaction to generate electricity and power the vehicles we use to move around. It release carbon into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. The equation for this reaction is fuel + oxygen → carbon dioxide + water.
This is a process that takes place in many autotrophic living things, such as plants and algae. In plants, it takes place mainly in leaves, but also occurs in other green parts of the plant. It is a chemical reaction the uses sunlight to make glucose from water and carbon dioxide. The word equation for photosynthesis is water + carbon dioxide → glucose + oxygen. The symbol equation for photosynthesis is 6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2.
This is a process that takes place in all living things. Organisms use it to release energy from glucose. It is a chemical reaction that puts carbon into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. The word equation for the aerobic reaction is glucose + oxygen → carbon dioxide + water. The symbol equation for aerobic respiration is C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O(+ energy).
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a spider map that identifies and explains the different processes in the carbon cycle.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or GroupCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
All the processes have a clear description which contains good scientific vocabulary.
Most of the processes have a clear description.
Some of the processes have a clear description.
All the processes have the correct word equation.
Most of the processes have the correct word equation.
Some of the processes have the correct word equation.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.