Cellular Respiration Overview

Cellular respiration is a topic that is a struggle for teachers and students. I’ve approached it in many different ways. I think I still have nightmares about memorizing the Kreb’s Cycle in college.

With AP Biology, I try to simply the process into the three metabolic reactions that take place. I worry less about the intermediaries and certainly do not have high school students memorize the citric acid (Krebs) cycle.

This worksheet can help students with the basics of vocabulary and the steps in reactions that yield ATP during chemiosmosis. I pair this with a slide presentation that includes a handout where students write in answers and complete diagrams. I also have a more detailed graphic organizer on cellular respiration that also focuses on some of the intermediary products, like FADH and NADH.

The first page of this activity has students practice filling blanks in with vocabulary words from the list. Basic stuff, but I’m often surprised at how my students can miss those basic questions on the test. If they don’t have the basics, then they will find understanding the overall concepts difficult.

The second page has a graphic of cellular respiration, showing glycolysis, the Kreb’s Cycle, and the electron transport chain. Students label the graphic and indicate the number of ATP produced in each step. They also summarize the evens that happens in each stage on a chart.

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