The Carbon Cycle Game
Kelly Tenkely | Teaching.monster.com
The Carbon Cycle Game is a free online game that teaches students about how carbon cycles through the Earth system. It is appropriate for 4th-9th grade students learning about the carbon cycle. As students play the game, they will learn that carbon cycles naturally through living and non-living parts of the Earth system in a complex, non-linear way, that burning fossil fuels adds carbon to the cycle, the impact of additional carbon dioxide on global warming, and that carbon is essential for living things. Students will travel around the game as a little carbon atom. They will stop at key places on the game board and get a pop-up of information about the carbon cycle. At any point students can click on key words in the pop-up and will be directed to a page with additional information. Students will also land on question marks that pop-up questions testing students about what they have learned so far. When students answer questions correctly they earn game points.
How to integrate The Carbon Cycle Game into the classroom: The Carbon Cycle Game would be best played individually in the computer lab setting or on classroom computers in groups of two. The site says that this game is appropriate for grades 4th-9th but I found the vocabulary and reading to be a little advanced for fourth grade students. If using the site with younger students, I would recommend visiting it in pairs of students or as a whole class using an interactive whiteboard. If you play the Carbon Cycle Game as a whole class, split your students into two teams so that each team can take turns answering the questions in the game. The Carbon Cycle Game is a good way for students to learn about the Carbon Cycle and the questions ensure that students are understanding the reading.
Tips: Check out the teacher section for some great lesson plan ideas using the Carbon Cycle Game.