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The Carbon Cycle and its Role in Climate Change: Activity 1

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The Carbon Cycle and its Role in Climate Change: Activity 1

In this activity (on page 1), learners role play as atoms to explore how atoms can be rearranged to make different materials. Learners group together and link arms or hold hands to form chemical bonds and act out the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Use this activity to introduce the carbon cycle and follow this activity with two associated activities from the same resource.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Several different colors of construction paper
  • Several different colors of chalk or ribbon
  • Marker or pen
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins or tape


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
    • Human Body
      • Respiration
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Thermodynamics and Entropy
    • Energy
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Chemistry of Life
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Elements and Periodic Table
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


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