Skip to Content

Animals | Activity 4.1

Activity 4.1: Molecular Models for Cows Moving and Functioning: Cellular Respiration (40 min)

Students model the oxidation of glucose (CgH12O6) to carbon dioxide and water using molecular model kits. They describe this chemical change in two ways: molecular models, and a chemical equation.

Materials You Provide

Resources Provided

Setup

Prepare one model kit, one Molecular Models 11 x 17 Placemat, one pair of scissors, and one Forms of Energy Cards for each pair of students. Print one copy of the 4.1 Molecular Models for Cow Cellular Respiration Worksheet for each student. Prepare a computer and a projector to display the PPT. Retrieve the materials from Activity 3.3. This may include PPT slides from the lesson in which you typed students’ unanswered questions or a photograph of their unanswered questions. Print and hang the Cow 11 x 17 Poster, Molecule Diagram 11 x 17 Poster, and Three Ways to Represent Glucose 11 x 17 Poster.

Directions

1. Use the instructional model to show students where they are in the course of the unit.

Assessment

Listen for the students’ sense of necessity to make sure that atoms last forever during chemical changes. Asking them about the “atoms are forever” rule during the molecular modeling and animation may give you a sense of how committed they are to conserving matter.

Tips

  • Laminate the Molecular Models 11 x 17 Placemat. These will be used multiple times in each unit.
  • During the molecular modeling activity and animation, focus on how matter and energy are conserved through the chemical change. This is the main goal of the activity! 

Extend the Learning

This TED Talk about “the mathematics of weight loss” provides an alternative way of looking at how cellular respiration drives weight loss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuIlsN32WaE