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Chemical Digestion and Cellular Respiration for Middle School Science

Are you teaching middle school science? Are you looking for a way to address those tricky standards in middle school science on chemical digestion and cellular respiration?


Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on describing that molecules are broken apart and put back together and that in this process, energy is released.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include details of the chemical reactions for photosynthesis or respiration.]

Within individual organisms, food moves through a series of chemical reactions in which it is broken down and rearranged to form new molecules, to support growth, or to release energy.

Utah SEEd Standard 8.3.2

Develop a model to describe how food is changed through chemical reactions to form new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as matter cycles through an organism. Emphasis is on describing that during cellular respiration molecules are broken apart and rearranged into new molecules and that this process releases energy. (PS3.D, LS1.C)

Students will find it interesting to learn how nutrients are broken down in different locations in the digestive system with the use of enzymes. Proteins are broken down to amino acids, carbohydrates are broken down to simple sugars, and fats are broken down to fatty acids and glycerol.

It is not enough to break down the nutrients to smaller molecules, energy from glucose must be converted to a usable energy. This process is cellular respiration and it takes place in the mitochondria of the cells.

This standard is addressed in two different units that each have a different format. I have created a printable unit and also a digital unit in Google Slides.

Students will learn about chemical digestion, the role of enzymes, and cellular respiration. Students will learn about how fat, protein and carbohydrates and broken down so that the body can use them. Students will learn that the body uses a process called cellular respiration to convert glucose to an energy that is usable by cells.

Printable Unit on Chemical Digestion and Cellular Respiration

MS NGSS LS1-7 and Utah SEEd 8th grade
Cellular Respiration
cellular respiration

Google Slide Unit on Chemical Digestion

Cellular respiration MS LS1-7
Cellular respiration
chemical digestion and cellular respiration
cellular respiration and chemical digestion

FREE Chemical Reaction Resource

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