The Lungs of the World

Photosynthesis

The Lungs of the World

Subject area: 
Sciences, Expressive Arts, Literacy

Experiences and Outcomes:
ExA 3 – 03a, SCN 3 – 02a,
SCN 4 – 05h, Lit 3 – 05a

The aim of this lesson is to find out why plants and trees are the ‘lungs of the world’ and are essential for all creatures including human’s survival.

Before you begin ask your class to look through the John Muir graphic novel and read The Lungs of the World section where John Muir describes how:

‘Trees are the lungs of the world, our friends and protectors. No matter how times change, we must look after our forests. If we kill the trees, what will happen to us?’

Then show your class a two minute animation video clip from Youtube created by Oregon Forest Research Institute which explains photosynthesis in a simple way.

Provide your pupils with copies of The Lungs of the World Pupil Activity Worksheet and encourage them to take notes, in the space provided, as they watch the video to capture key points.

Once they have watched the video explain to your pupils that their task now is to create a poster to explain how photosynthesis works and to encourage anyone reading their poster to recognise why and how important the plants, trees and flowers, we share this world with, are.

When they have completed their posters print out the poster Photosynthesis Diagram created by the Eden Project (or alternatively display on a white board) that explains how photosynthesis works.

Ask your class to check their posters against this one to see if they have included everything they needed to, to explain how photosynthesis works. Ask them to copy anything they have missed from the Eden Project poster onto their own.

Display all the posters created for this activity in your class room or a suitable place in your school.


Reflecting on learning

  • Had your pupils considered that plants, trees and flowers are the ‘lungs of the world’?
  • Do they recognise how important trees, plants and flowers are for all creatures including human’s survival?


Learners can:

  • Explain and understand how photosynthesis works
  • Create a poster that shows how photosynthesis works as well as emphasises the importance of plants, trees and flowers.