Use this class game to consolidate students’ understanding of the carbon cycle

An illustration of the carbon cycle

Source: © VectorMine/Shutterstock

Students need to know that carbon cycles through plants, animals, fossil fuels, the atmosphere and the sea via different processes

Modelling methods are an excellent way to promote thinking and help to improve students’ understanding. Put this into practice with the carbon cycle game.

In this game, students take on the role of a carbon atom as it cycles through the Earth, moving around different stations placed around the classroom to simulate the carbon cycle. Alternatively, the instructions can be laid out on a desk and the students move counters around.

To move around the cycle, students flip two coins and follow the instructions at each station depending on what combination of heads or tails they get. Students are given a carbon cycle passport to fill in as they play for noting the stages they travel to, how they get there and what form of carbon they are.

Teaching a lesson on the carbon cycle? This game features in a lesson plan for a lesson on the carbon cycle for 11–14.

This download contains teacher and student instructions, plus a carbon cycle passport template and station cards to print.

Use this resource alongside the Education in Chemistry article How to teach the carbon cycle at 11–14.