Earth Science classes play carbon cycle game
Earth Science students race to find an open seat in Mr. Taber’s innovative carbon cycle game. Photo by Eden Rodriguez.
Who said learning has to be boring? On Jan. 27 and 28, Mr. Taber’s Earth Science classes played a game to help students understand the carbon cycle in a fun way.
The game was a twist on musical chairs, but without the music and with more learning. Each chair was set in a circle of tape that represented a group, for example carnivores, plants, fossils, or herbivores. Depending on their spot, students had to move to a new circle, mirroring the carbon cycle.
If a student did not make it to a chair before Mr. Taber said stop, he or she was out and that chair was removed. If students moved to the wrong group, they were out. For example, plants could move to air, but not to carnivores, following the rules of the carbon cycle.
The game was played until there was only one student left. This activity helped students think quickly on their feet and absorb the information. Most students played seriously and were competitive. Students even slipped and slid in a frenzy to get to the chairs, while sideliners watched intently. There were lots of laughs while having a valuable learning experience. Students also had the choice to take their test on the carbon cycle before or after the game. Mr.Taber says “I have done variations of this activity for several years now because it helps reinforce the concepts that my students are learning in a fun way.” He also adds that “I will continue to play it in the future.This year worked out particularly well because, in the new science classrooms, the tables are on wheels and can easily be reconfigured to accommodate activities like this.”