Transformations in Matter and Energy Carbon TIME is an NSF-funded partnership led by Michigan State University
Activity 3.2: The Carbon Dice Game (30 min)
Target Student Performance
Students record and share data about their movement to different carbon pools when they play the role of carbon atoms in an ecosystem (the Carbon Dice Game).
Resources You Provide
- Containers to put twist ties in (one for each pool)
- Die (1 for each student)
- Yellow twist ties (at least 300)
- 3.2 The Carbon Dice Game PPT
- 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Tracking Sheet (1 per student)
- 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Posters (1 per class)
- 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Tally Cards (1 per class)
- 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Energy Labels(1 per class)
- 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Class Results Spreadsheet
- Print at least one copy of the 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Posters, 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Tally Cards, and 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Energy Labels and set them up as 5 “pools” (atmosphere, producer, herbivore, carnivore, and soil pools) around the classroom.
- Put the twist ties (these represent energy) in a container at the atmosphere pool and empty containers at each of the remaining pools.
- Prepare materials for individual students:
- Have the dice ready to distribute to students (either singly or in pairs).
- Print one copy of the 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Tracking Sheet for each student.
- Prepare a computer to show the PPT and record tally card results in 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Class Results Spreadsheet.
During the discussion after the game, formatively assess how well students are able to make connections between the pools in the game and the charts that are generated from the graph. If they do not see the connection, you may want to spend time helping them understand the different representations.
You may want to print more than one copy of the 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Posters, 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Tally Cards, and 3.2 Carbon Dice Game Energy Labels. Printing multiple copies allows more students to visit each pool at one time.
Stress that although we are using twist ties to represent energy, energy is actually not made of matter/molecules!