Learning Exercise

Why is Chlorophyll Green?

This is an out of class exercise that allows students to explore biological molecules that contain heme like molecules with metals bound in them. The properties of these molecules give them different colors and functions, but all are related evolutionarily.

Text on the chemistry behind why leaves turn color in the fall with a couple of links. see more


The details are in the attached file. The activity consists of a one page description of why plants are green, meat is red and crustacean blood is blue. There are embedded links and questions for the students to answer.


Chlorophyll, pigments

Learning Objectives

Students should learn the function of chlorophyll and heme, the role metal ions play in these reactions, and the properties of color.


The students take an online quiz to test if they have mastered the concepts in the activity. You could also have them answer the questions and turn them in for grading if you have a smaller class size.