Dawn A. Tamarkin
The American Biology Teacher 77 (8), 620-623, (1 October 2015) https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2015.77.8.9
KEYWORDS: carbohydrates, plant, Cells, hydrolysis, Inquiry, levels of organization, dehydration synthesis, organelles, plastids, amyloplasts, starch, sugar, Glucose
Bananas can be used in many classroom lab activities to make carbohydrates easier for students to understand. I detail a simple series of banana activities that can be used to investigate carbohydrates across a wide range of levels of organization and that serve to connect carbohydrate concepts that might otherwise seem disparate to students. For example, the taste of a banana is linked to carbohydrate hydrolysis, as well as to organelle content within banana cells. Bananas can be used safely in any classroom, and inquiry-based learning can be used to progress through related course content. In addition, students will gain expertise in understanding cells viewed through the microscope as they try to examine the starch in the bananas.