Tag Archives: respiration

Good Golly, Miss Molymod

Just a quick idea this week as I was working on the George learns to walk page.

Do your GCSE students struggle to remember the balanced formula equation for respiration?

Try this.


Draw a molecule of glucose on the board and get them to build a molymod version (in pairs). They enjoy this. It’s a challenge and they’ve got to concentrate.

Get them to count the atoms. Link this to the formula for glucose.


Now give each pair 10 (it’s important that it’s 10!) oxygen molecules.


Burning (i.e. oxidising) things in oxygen gives what waste products? Carbon dioxide and water.

So get them to completely oxidise their glucose molecule, using as many oxygens as they need, to give carbon dioxide and water.



Look at the molecules they’ve built now. How many carbon dioxides? How many waters? And how many oxygens did you need? Can’t remember? Well, how many have you got left from the 10?

You could line the molecules up and get them to take a photo with their phone. Or get them to take photos as they go along.


But, and here’s the thing, they remember the balanced formula.