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The Carbon Cycle: How It Works

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The Carbon Cycle: How It Works

In this game, learners walk through an imaginary Carbon Cycle and explore the ways in which carbon is stored in reservoirs and the processes that transport the carbon atom from one location to another. This resource includes background information about carbon, the carbon cycle, and climate change.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Two dice
  • Scissors
  • Colored pencils
  • Plain paper
  • Carbon Process Cards (page 5 of PDF)
  • Carbon Reservoir Cards (page 7 of PDF)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics
      • Geochemical Cycles
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
      • Oceans and Water
      • Atmosphere
      • Biosphere
    • Earth's History
      • Geologic Time
      • Ecology
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Energy and Power
      • Transportation
      • Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
      • Human Impact
    • Human Body
      • Respiration
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elements and Periodic Table
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Risks and Benefits
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Games
  • 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


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Meier, Beverly L.


  • All Rights Reserved, NOAA,


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