Carbon Cycle Roleplay

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In this creative roleplay activity, learners will explore the various processes of the carbon cycle using movement and props to aid in comprehension. Learners will understand that carbon changes forms throughout the carbon cycle, and that carbon is continuously moving throughout all the cycles at the same time. This standards-based lesson, which is great for the classroom, camps, or afterschool programs, includes roleplay cards and ideas for props.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation

Chinese, English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • ping pong balls (at least 14)
  • permanent marker
  • chalk
  • Carbon Cycle Role-Play Cards - one per group


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
      • Oceans and Water
      • Atmosphere
      • Biosphere
    • Earth's History
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
      • Human Impact
  • Physical Sciences
    • States of Matter
      • Changes of Phase

Informal Categories

  • Performing Arts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • hear
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • California Academy of Sciences


  • , California Academy of Sciences, 2008