Caring for our carbon

We all live, eat, breathe and use carbon every day … without even thinking about it! Carbon is all around us and available to us in many different forms – as an atmospheric gas, as an energy source, and as a food source. When we eat a sandwich, turn on the engine in the car, or switch on the television, we are literally consuming carbon. But where did this carbon originally come from? Besides being able to watch our favourite program and eat our favourite food, what else happens when we use this carbon? The Caring for our carbon unit is an ideal way to investigate the science of carbon and improve the scientific literacy of students in the classroom. It provides opportunities for students to investigate their understandings of carbon – where it comes from and how we use it, and what happens when we use too much of it – and through discussion and debate, arrive at their own considered opinion about how we should be using carbon to live sustainably in the future.

The digital versions of these resources are designed for use with Adobe Acrobat Reader and are set up to enable students to be able to enter and save their answers within each document on their desktop. Adobe Acrobat Reader is free and can be downloaded here.

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Introduce

Lesson 1:
Caring for our carbon



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Student worksheet

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Question

Lesson 2:
The real question about carbon



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Student worksheet

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Investigate

Lesson 3:
Constructing carbon compounds



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Investigate

Lesson 4:
The carbon detectives



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Lesson 4: Teacher

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Investigate

Lesson 5:
Counting the cost of carbon



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Student worksheet

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Investigate

Lesson 6:
Carbon’s call to action



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Investigate

Lesson 7:
Round and round the carbon cycle



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Review

Lesson 8:
Seeing carbon in your own reflection



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Your future

Lesson 9:
Carbon present, carbon future



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Lesson 9: Teacher

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Lesson 9: Student