Carbon is a non-metallic element that has a great deal of significance for living things. It is an element that has an incomparable ability to bind to an unusually high number of different elements. The elements unique structure of have four available electrons to form bonds helps it form multiple stable bonds with other small elements. This helps living things form complex molecules like amino acids, proteins, and DNA. The carbon cycle is the process whereby Mother Nature will constantly recycle this element. It plays a vital role in the homeostasis of all living things on Earth. Since it is cycle, you can pretty much view it from any angle, but I would say it begins with plants. Plants use carbon dioxide that is found in Earth's air to make energy from sunlight. Animals love tasty green things, so they eat the plants and breathe in oxygen. They also breathe out with more carbon dioxide than they breathed in. The plants then use all this extra carbon dioxide to keep it going. As the plants and animals die, decomposers break down their remains and return nutrients to the soil and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
These worksheets look at just about every aspect of the Carbon cycle. We look at how this element is recycled and how oxygen seems to affect the progress of the cycle. We also take a look at several compounds and process that seemingly affect the efficiency of this process. We look at how food chains also affect the process. We also look at how forms of human pollution are having long term consequences for the planet.