Lesson Plan: Photosynthesis Experiments Biology

This lesson plan includes the objectives and prerequisites of the lesson teaching students how to describe the experiments carried out by Van Neil and Calvin and outline how they increased the understanding of photosynthesis.


Students will be able to

  • recall the basic reaction of photosynthesis as carbon dioxide + water oxygen + glucose,
  • describe how Van Neil carried out experiments on green and purple bacteria to determine oxygen was released by photosynthesis and describe subsequent experiments that confirmed this,
  • recall that photosynthesis is split into two cycles: the light cycle and the dark cycle,
  • describe the reactions of the dark cycle as NADPH2 being used to fix CO2 into carbohydrates,
  • describe how Calvin carried out experiments on chlorella algae to determine the role of phosphoglyceraldehyde in photosynthesis.


Students should already be familiar with

  • the basic process of photosynthesis.

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