Carbohydrate Metabolism Mark as Favorite (1 Favorite)

LESSON PLAN in Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Pharmaceuticals, Molecular Structure , Monomer, ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program. Last updated January 29, 2024.


In this lesson, students will learn about how the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body were studied. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

Grade Level

High School

NGSS Alignment

This lesson will help prepare your students to meet the performance expectations in the following standards:

  • HS-PS2-6: Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.
  • Scientific and Engineering Practices:
    • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
    • Engaging in Argument from Evidence


By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Know the difference between a monomer and a polymer.
  • Gain an understanding of organic structures.
  • Identify a glucose molecule and explain its molecular structure.
  • Understand on a basic level that sugar is metabolized by the human body and used as a source of energy.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polymers
  • Monomers


Teacher Preparation: 10 minutes
Lesson: Approximate times for students to complete each activity in the lesson:

  • Anticipation Guide: 10 minutes
  • History Exercise: 15-20 minutes
  • Reading: 20 minutes
  • Society and Attitudes: 10-15 minutes
  • Chemical Structures: 10-15 minutes


  • Reading document and any lessons that accompany it that you want to include.


  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes


Lesson Overview:

  • The lesson includes multiple components as outlined individually below. The Reading is essential for all of the activities. Teachers can choose to do one or all of the included activities. Student handouts and corresponding answer keys are provided for each item described below:
  • Activity: Anticipation Guide
    • Students identify whether they agree or disagree with the ten statements. After they complete the reading, they can adjust their answers and rephrase “disagree” statements so they read true.
  • Activity: History Exercise
    • Students attempt to correctly organize the sequence of events in the lives and work of the Coris prior to reading. Then, while reading, students can reorganize the timeline as needed.
  • Reading: Carbohydrate Metabolism and Carl and Gerty Cori
  • Activity: Society and Attitudes
    • Discuss obstacles and attitudes encountered by the Coris, then reflect on whether these and additional situations still exist today.
  • Activity: Chemical Structures
    • Compare representations and structures of a monosaccharide (glucose) and a polysaccharide (glycogen).