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TV411: Photosynthesis


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Activity Description

In this activity, students learn about photosynthesis through a introductory video and three online activities. Along the way they learn to interpret diagrams that describe the process of photosynthesis, examine the ingredients and products of photosynthesis and identify producers and consumers in the food chain. Each activity has several quiz questions to check for understanding. There is also an online quiz covering all three activities.

Screenshot of Photosynthesis Lesson
Source: (License: Protected by Copyright (c) [i.e. screenshot])

These activities work best in a computer lab; however, students can be divided into groups on several classroom computers or the activity can be projected on a screen for the whole class.

Life Science is approximately 40% of the GED Science test, and 50% of the HiSET Science test.


  1. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school. The videos come from Vimeo and some schools may block them.
  2. Preview the Photosynthesis Video and decide if it is appropriate for your students.
  3. Review each activity and the accompanying quizzes.
  4. Decide how students will work on this activity. Will they work in a computer lab, in groups on classroom computers, or work as a class?
  5. Put a link to the activities on the computer desktops or on a class Web site.

Teacher Tips

  • Students need time to process information. Be sure to give them time to take notes and review the material.
  • This activity can be adapted to any number of computers by having students work in groups or using it as a class activity and projecting the activity on the board.
  • If all your students have computers at home, you could assign watching the videos and the Activities for homework, then do the quiz in class. This is commonly known as "flipping the classroom."
  • There is some advertising on this site. Be sure to teach students how and why to avoid it.

More Ways

  • This Web site offers lessons on understanding what you read; studying and test prep; reading strategies; using the library; a few grammar topics; creative & personal writing; writing for work; vocabulary & dictionaries; basic math; ratios, averages & exponents; fractions, decimals & percentages; geometry; earth science, finance; earning & spending; and saving & investing

Program Areas

  • ASE: High School Equivalency Preparation
  • ABE: Adult Basic Education


  • Intermediate
  • High

Lesson Plan


Objective: Engage students and activate prior knowledge.

Students turn to their neighbor and discuss what they know about photosynthesis. Then add to whole group discussion.


Quick Poll: Ask students what they know about plants and how they get their energy.
Record responses on the board or a shared document.


Objective: Provide context and introduce the topic of photosynthesis.
Activity: Brief Lecture and Discussion

  • Explain that plants create their food through a process called photosynthesis.
  • Define key terms: photosynthesis, chlorophyll, sunlight, carbon dioxide, and oxygen.
  • Show a brief teaser from the provided video to generate interest.
Engagement Enhancement

Objective: Present the main concepts of photosynthesis.
Activity: Video Viewing

  1. Watch the video: Photosynthesis Science Lesson
  2. Pause at key points for reflection and check for understanding.
  3. On the right under Relate Web Lessons, select Photosynthesis: Science Lesson
  4. As pairs, read through the Introduction on Photosynthesis and then select Begin Lesson. Go through the lesson together.
  5. As a class, answer the multiple-choice questions about photosynthesis.
  6. Discuss any questions or observations.
Engagement Enhancement
  1. Project Activity 1 and demonstrate how to navigate through the activity and quiz questions.
  2. Have students complete Activity 1 either in groups, individually, or as a class. Allow students to take notes.
  3. Move around the room answering questions as needed.
  4. Discuss, as a class, what they learned.
  1. Repeat for Activities 2 and 3 .
  2. Give students time to review the activities at home or in the classroom.

Objective: Assess understanding and identify areas for further clarification.

Activity: Quick Quiz

  1. Have students take out a piece of paper and number from one to ten.
  2. Project the final Quick Quiz found at the end of Activity 3 and have students take the quiz.
  3. Review the quiz and fill in any gaps in understanding.

Objective: Connect learning to real-world scenarios.

Activity: Class Discussion

  • Discuss the importance of photosynthesis in our daily lives.
  • Encourage students to think about how they can apply this knowledge in their everyday experiences.



  • Reading
    • Critical Thinking/Decision Making
  • Science
    • Biology
    • General Science


  • Reading
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
    • CCR Anchor 10 - Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.


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Creative Commons License

CC BY-NC-SA:This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.