About the Author: Veshell Lewis, PhD is a Biology Teacher at Dacula High School and Adjunct Biology Instructor at Georgia State University. She has worked with students using GLOBE Program protocols since 2013.
Secondary teachers can use the scientific article and scientist designed diagram as facilitation tools for discussing important global carbon cycle concepts.
1) Start by reading the Natural Inquirer Science Journal article Balancing Act: Urban Trees and the Carbon Cycle to gain understanding of the carbon cycle by examining the advantages and disadvantages of planting and maintaining different urban tree species for balancing carbon dioxide. After the reading, students reflect upon the knowledge learned by responding to the reflection questions located in the article. Teachers may have students complete reflections in various ways, such as partner chat, whole group, gallery walk, or journaling.
2) Enhance student understanding of the carbon cycle through utilization of the GLOBE activity “Getting to Know Global Carbon.” During the activity, students compare a carbon cycle diagram they develop to one developed by scientists. In addition, they investigate the diagram through a series of questions that help them unpack information about pool and flux sizes, carbon units, residence times, and human/animal roles in the global cycle.
Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by USDA Forest Service Eastern Region (Agreement no. 20-PA-11090100-026). Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA Forest Service.