Today in Y12 biology our lesson was in two parts; learning about the structure of a chloroplast first, followed by learning the stages of photosynthesis.
To help with learning how to draw and label a chloroplast we made play-doh models of them, using different colours to represent different structures.
For all of the models (bar one) green is used to represent the thylakoid discs stacked into granum (the plural for these is grana), because the thylakoid discs are where chlorophyll is found. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for absorbing red and blue wavelengths of light for energy and reflecting back green wavelengths, which gives plants their green colour.
Pink: outer membrane. Yellow: inner membrane: Red: stroma. Green: thylakoid stacks in grana. White: lamellae.
Yellow: outer membrane. White: inner membrane: Pink: stroma. Green: thylakoid stacks in grana and lamellae joining them.
Pink: outer membrane. Red: inner membrane: White: stroma. Green: thylakoid stacks in grana.
Pink: outer membrane. Green layer: inner membrane: Yellow: stroma. Red: ribosomes. Green: thylakoid stacks in grana.
Yellow: outer membrane. Absent: inner membrane: Blue: stroma. Green: thylakoid stacks in grana.
Green: outer membrane. Red: inner membrane: Yellow: stroma. Pink: thylakoid stacks in grana.
Mikayla made an adorable miniature model.
Priscilla with her chloroplast.
Yellow: outer membrane. White: inner membrane: Red: stroma. Green: thylakoid stacks in grana.
After the class was comfortable with the structures inside a chloroplast they were ready to move on and learn about how photosynthesis happens in two of these structures; the thylakoids and the stroma.
Students will have to work hard filing this away in their long term memory in a way that makes sense to them; drawing diagrams of the process, explaining it out loud, teaching others, or writing the story of photosynthesis in their own words. This is one of those concepts where I can be around to answer questions but I can't physically MAKE students learn it, and when it becomes tricky they need the resilience to wrestle on!