Grade 9-10 literacy in science: Vertical farming

This Common Core-aligned unit on photosynthesis and vertical farming will teach students about the role of photosynthesis in creating much of the food needed for life on Earth. In addition, students will come to realize how changing our approach to how we grow our food can change the impact we have on the environment around us. This unit on metabolism takes place after students have background knowledge in cell process, homeostasis, and ecology. It is aligned with New York State Living Environment Science Standard 4, Key Idea 5: Organisms maintain a dynamic equilibrium that sustains life. Using their knowledge about the role of photosynthesis in creating food, students will do guided research on vertical farming, culminating in an argument task in which they argue whether vertical farming is a viable industry for New York City. The task asks students to write a policy brief for a local congresswoman in order to inform her about vertical farming and its viability in New York City. Students craft a claim and support their claim with evidence and reasoning.