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The Carbon Cycle Game

What it is: 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. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Carbon Cycle Game in your classroom.

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Planet Quest: Alien Safari

Posted by admin | Posted in Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 10-05-2011

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What it is: Planet Quest Alien Safari is an interactive exploration adventure that encourages students to click on “life zones” around the world to find bizarre and extreme organisms that live on Earth.  Students will also learn about what the extreme organisms reveal about finding life in space.  As students explore they will learn about organisms that can live without sunlight, those with the highest radiation dose, those that are the most acidic, those that live the furthest underground, those with the strangest habitat and those that are the hottest.  Students click on a life zone on the 3D Earth to begin a video introduction to the organism.

How to integrate Planet Quest: Alien Safari into the classroom: Planet Quest Alien Safari is going to be a popular one with your boys.  My students got a kick out of “discovering” new organisms.  Use Alien Safari when discussing different life forms, classifying organisms or studying space.  My students wanted to do more than just explore the organisms, they wanted to write stories about them.  Students wrote creative stories imagining what kind of super hero the organism would be, or making them into super villains (As I said, the boys have fun with this one!).

Ask students to make predictions about the organisms based on where they are found, what does their geographic location tell us about the organism?

Tips: The music on this site gets a little OLD (at least for me, the kids may disagree) I had the kids use headphones when they were accessing this site independently.  If you are using it with the whole class and an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, you can turn the music off in the bottom right corner.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Planet Quest: Alien Safari in your classroom!

Comments (1)

This is a great find and will be a useful one in the classroom for me. Thanks for sharing.

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