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Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point K-12 Energy Education Program


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th


Science, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 150 minutes
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin



Photosynthesis Promenade

Ask a Question

  • This fun and active lesson teaches students about photosynthesis, what plants need in order to grow, food webs, and why plants are green.
  • As a group, students evaluate where their food comes, where plants get their energy, and how plants and animals recycle oxygen and carbon dioxide through a photosynthesis demonstration.
  • Students take part in the demonstration as molecules of water, oxygen, or carbon dioxide, or as chlorophyll and sunlight.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson plan is interactive and filled with student-centered elements.
  • This lesson plan utilizes a variety of instructional methods.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Some illustrations in the lesson plan can be used in the lesson.
  • The Sun Test Procedure and Chocolate Chip Demonstration require additional materials, but they are not required for the lesson.
  • You can have students write their notes in a notebook or the location of your choice for the Energy Learning Log mentioned in the lesson.


  • Younger students can participate in the first part of the lesson and a simplified version of the photosynthesis demonstration.
  • This lesson plan could supplement a classroom discussion on why plants are so important to human survival and for balancing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • This lesson plan could enhance a classroom discussion on the differences between plants and animals.
  • Teachers could make the story activity mandatory if they have students who need writing practice.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP) uses a classroom activity to educate students about the process of photosynthesis. The resource has a clear set of instructions on teaching students about photosynthesis, with several points that allow students to engage with the lesson. The core of this activity, though, is the photosynthesis promenade, where students are split into groups that represent each part of the photosynthesis process. An extension activity to help students see that plants need sunlight, water, and air is also included. This resource features clear text, a fun activity, and great graphics. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • K-LS1-1 Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
      • 4-LS1-1 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 2-LS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
    • PS3: Energy
      • 4-PS3-2 Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Language (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
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