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Learning Objectives

Students will demonstrate an understanding of cellular respiration as it relates to dogs and create a model representation.


Grade Levels



Next Generation Science Standards

HS-LS1-7: Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed, resulting in a net transfer of energy.


Materials Needed

YouTube Video, Cellular Respiration-Energy For All: HERE

Computer with Internet Access

Art Materials for Models (clay, poster board, markers, glue, toothpicks, foam balls, construction paper, empty shoe boxes, etc.)



Introduction and Instruction

  • Ask students what they think the term cellular respiration means. Brainstorm ideas as a class.  Hint:  It is not related to breathing.
  • Provide students with a simple definition of cellular respiration: Cellular respiration is the method by which cells in humans, plants, and animals break down sugar (or glucose) from the food that they eat, which in turn changes into energy or ATP. Cells are then able to perform work and have the energy they need to function. 
  • Explain to students that not only do humans need energy to function, but so do dogs. That is why it is so important to be a responsible dog owner and ensure your dog is receiving the proper nutrients through the amount of dog food suggested for their age and size.  These nutrients are vital to giving a dog the energy that it needs.
  • Show students the YouTube video, Cellular Respiration Energy For All. Instruct students to write down at least 10 important facts from the video, as this will help them complete their group project.  Using the video as a guide, review the cellular respiration process when finished and have students share their notes.

Group Project and Presentation

  • Pair each student with a partner. Instruct each group to research two articles on the internet relating to cellular respiration in animals (specifically dogs if possible).
  • Instruct student groups to create a model depicting the cellular respiration process in dogs from start to finish. Each group will use the research articles they have found and the YouTube video to guide them. 
  • Students decide what type of model they will make and what materials they will need to make it (ex. a clay model, diorama, diagram/flowchart, Power Point presentation, etc.). Models must have labels and accurately represent the cellular respiration process.
  • Provide students with the necessary materials to create their models and allow classroom time for each group to complete the activity. Ensure students include a References Page listing any sources they used.

Review and Closing

  • Have student groups present their models to the class as a review. Display models around the classroom, if possible.



“Cellular Respiration: Energy for All.”  YouTube, published by Brian Daniels, 20 Oct 2017,






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