Activity 4.1: Tiny Pool and Flux Game (30 min)

Target Student Performance

Students describe the relationship between pools and fluxes in a physical model: changes in pool sizes depend on balance among fluxes.

Resources You Provide

  • Markers such as M&Ms or bingo chips – 10 per student (or pair of students)

Resources Provided


Open the 4.1 Tiny Pool and Flux Game PPT and project it. Prepare enough copies of the 4.1 Tiny Pool and Flux Worksheet for each student to have one. Prepare enough copies of the 4.1 Tiny Pool and Flux Game Placemat for each student or pair of students to have one.


1. Use the instructional model to show students where they are in the course of the unit.

Show slide 2 of the 4.1 Tiny Pool and Flux Game PPT.

  • Slide 3 and discuss Stability and Change as the main focus for this lesson. Students have been introduced to carbon pools in previous lessons. In this lesson, they will study carbon fluxes.


This activity introduces the idea of net flux, which will be important throughout the rest of the unit. Be sure students understand the ideas on the final slide before moving on to the next activity. Use the 4.1 Grading the Tiny Pool and Flux Worksheet to grade students' work.

  • Identify locations in the room as the two carbon pools, then have students play the role of carbon atoms moving between the two pools.
  • Project the graphs onto a white board and demonstrate how to fill them in after each move.
  • Have students work in pairs and fill out one worksheet for each pair.
Extending the Learning