Carbon Cycle Project


Clear, simple instructions lead to GREAT carbon cycle projects!

Grades 6 and Up

Support a deeper understanding of the cyclical nature of carbon in photosynthesis and respiration, as well as how each process contributes to the cycle of matter in ecosystems with this carbon cycle project. 

While this assignment appears simple, the concepts are thoroughly based on NGSS science and are more complex than a simple food chain activity. Students are assigned to either make a diorama or a hanging mobile to represent the carbon cycle. They must represent every step carbon takes as it makes its way through the atmosphere, is in plants as carbohydrate, is released by burning fossil fuels, and more. Students must also include the reactants and products of photosynthesis and respiration.

You may also be interested in our Photosynthesis and Respiration Readings.

This Student Resource Includes:

  • Clear, step-by-step instructions
  • Student-Friendly rubric
  • Materials ideas to get kids thinking about materials to use
  • A quick note to adults at home on how to support their student with this project

Students can use anything they find at home to build their project – old toys, Legos, clay, folded paper, Styrofoam, origami animals, small boxes, etc. A list of numerous household items they could use is provided for them.

Teacher Notes:


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