Lesson Plan: The Importance and Abundance of Oxygen Science

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe photosynthesis as the main source of oxygen, demonstrate that the air is roughly one-fifth oxygen, and describe some uses of oxygen.


Students will be able to

  • identify the key scientist who discovered oxygen,
  • describe the structure of molecules containing oxygen,
  • describe how plants use photosynthesis to produce oxygen,
  • describe the balance between photosynthesis, respiration, and combustion,
  • identify and describe how to investigate the proportion of oxygen gas in Earth’s atmosphere,
  • identify and describe the uses of oxygen,
  • describe the ozone layer and its importance.


Students should already be familiar with

  • the composition of Earth’s atmosphere,
  • matter,
  • states of matter,
  • elements, atoms, and molecules.


Students will not cover

  • the different layers of Earth’s atmosphere,
  • details of the ozone layer and its depletion,
  • chemical equations,
  • properties of oxygen,
  • preparation of oxygen gas.

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