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Matter Cycling and Photosynthesis: Vernier Supplement to OpenSciEd Unit 7.4

Matter Cycling and Photosynthesis: Vernier Supplement to OpenSciEd Unit 7.4

Matter Cycling and Photosynthesis: Vernier Supplement to OpenSciEd Unit 7.4


Students begin this unit by reflecting on what they eat. They consider where their food comes from and consider which items might be from plants. Students discover that they can trace all food back to plants, including processed and synthetic foods. The research information explains how matter cycles back through processes done by decomposers. Students explain that the pieces of their food are constantly recycled between living and nonliving parts of a system.

The Vernier Supplement to Unit 7.4 is a complement to the OpenSciEd curriculum and includes data-collection technology enhanced lessons to supplement the existing curriculum.

ORDER CODE: OSE-74MC-E Categories ,
Education Levels


Our partnership with OpenSciEd gives middle school teachers access to free high-quality instructional materials that integrate our data-collection technology and align with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Follow the steps below to access your free PDFs and editable Google Docs for each lesson.

  1. Download the complete unit from OpenSciEd.
  2. Add the Matter Cycling and Photosynthesis Supplement to your Vernier shopping cart.
  3. Complete the order. You will receive an email with a download link.
  4. Follow the link to download the Matter Cycling and Photosynthesis Supplement.
  5. Swap in the enhanced data-collection lessons for the OpenSciEd lessons.


There are 15 lessons in the full OpenSciEd Unit 7.4.

2 lessons are enhanced with Vernier data-collection technology—included in the Vernier Supplement to Matter Cycling and Photosynthesis.

This unit uses Vernier Graphical Analysis™ and a Go Direct® CO2 Sensor.

Lessons Sensors Used
Lesson 1:  Where does this stuff come from?
Lesson 2:  Do plants get their food molecules by taking them in?
Lesson 3:  What other inputs could be sources of food molecules for the plant?
Lesson 4:  Are any parts that make up food molecules coming into the plant from above the surface? Go Direct® CO2 Sensor
(1 per class)
Lesson 5:  How are these gases getting into and out of leaves?
Lesson 6:  How are all these things interacting together in this part of the plant?
Lesson 7:  Why do plants need light?
Lesson 8:  Where are plants getting food from?
Lesson 9:  Where do the food molecules in the maple tree come from?
Lesson 10:  Why don’t plants die at night? Go Direct® CO2 Sensor
(1 per class)
Lesson 11:  Why don’t plants die when they can’t make food?
Lesson 12:  Where does the rest of our food come from?
Lesson 13:  What happens to food that doesn’t get eaten?
Lesson 14:  Where does food come from and where does it go next?
Lesson 15:  Where does food come from, and where does it go next? (Part 2)


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