Project Learning Tree

Carbon cycle worksheet for grades 6-8

Engage your students in a hands-on exercise to explore the carbon cycle in action.

Carbon Cycle in Action Worksheet

This hands-on exercise helps middle school students put their new knowledge about the carbon cycle into practice. It also incorporates science and engineering practices defined by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

This activity is part of Project Learning Tree's new e-unit on Carbon & Climate for grades 6-8, so be sure to check out the full curriculum!

Carbon cycle activity

About Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree helps develop students’ awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the environment, builds their skills and ability to make informed decisions, and encourages them to take personal responsibility for sustaining the environment and our quality of life that depends on it. 

For the last 40 years, Project Learning Tree has trained 700,000 educators to help students learn how to think, not what to think about complex environmental issues. 

Download the free Carbon Cycle in Action worksheet

Grades 6-8 unit on carbon and climate

Want more worksheets and lesson plans on carbon and climate?

Perhaps more than any other environmental issue, the topic of climate change challenges science teachers to accurately convey data, reveal assumptions, and engage critical-thinking skills. Project Learning Tree's Carbon & Climate e-unit provides activities and resources to help educators meet these challenges, introducing students to some of the complex issues involved in climate change.  

Hands-On Activities

Get students excited about science through hands-on activities, rather than simply memorizing facts.

Meets NGSS Standards

The e-units are constructed around targeted performance expectations of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 

Flexible Curriculum

Use activities as stand-alone investigations, or move through all the e-unit activities from beginning to end. 

The Carbon & Climate e-unit explores these essential questions: 

  •  What is climate?
  •  How does climate affect living systems?
  •  What role does carbon play in climate?
  •  What can we learn from past changes in the global climate?
  •  What can individuals do about climate change? 


This unit is designed as an introduction to climate science and its associated social, political, and environmental challenges.  

Grades 6-8 unit on carbon and climate

Each e-unit contains:

  •  Detailed step-by-step lesson plans
  •  Downloadable student pages to guide learning
  •  A range of assessment tools, including pre- and post-assessments and evaluation rubrics
  •  Easy-to-understand teacher background information
  •  Comprehensive, interactive connections to academic standards
  •  A self-paced online workshop with video demonstrations of the activities and lesson planning exercises
  •  Suggestions for fiction and non-fiction books to enhance the activities
  •  Links to websites, videos, and other supplementary resources 


Teachers who subscribe to an e-unit from Project Learning Tree will have access to quality learning activities anytime, anywhere.

What teachers are saying about Project Learning Tree's new curriculum

“I teach in the middle of coal country, Eastern Kentucky, and was very hesitant to teach this topic in depth. I want to thank you for helping me to approach a difficult topic with my students from a scientific point of view and for helping change perceptions in our region.”

--Susan Marvin

Teacher in Kentucky

“It is easy to do, not a huge amount of preparation, and can be done even in an urban environment.”

--Laura Baker

Teacher in Indiana

“I honestly found the unit resources to be among the most well-organized resources I have ever used.” 

--Agnes Zellin

Teacher in New York 

Get instant access to the Carbon & Climate e-unit for grades 6-8