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John Muir: 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’ survival, including humans.

Before you begin, ask your class to look through the John Muir graphic novel and read The Lungs of the World section up to page 124.

Then show your class this two-minute YouTube animation(this will open in a new window) from Oregon Forest Resources Institute, which explains photosynthesis in a simple way.

Provide your pupils with copies of The Lungs of the World worksheet and encourage them to take notes capturing key points as they watch the animation.

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 why the plants, trees and flowers we share this world with are so important.

When they have completed their posters, show them the Eden Project photosynthesis diagram.

Ask your class to check their posters against this one to make sure they have included everything, and ask them to copy any missing information from the Eden Project poster onto their own.

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

Reflecting on learning

Learners can: