Synaptic Tag

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In this outdoor activity, learners review the parts of the synapse and their functions by playing a game. The object of the game is to get as many neurotransmitters across the synapse to the dendrite without being caught (deactivated) by the enzyme. This game models the process by which enzymes break down neurotransmitters (e.g., acetylcholine) in the synaptic cleft.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

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


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Diagram of a synapse
  • Diagram of the game on large chart
  • Chalk to draw game board on the ground
  • Computer with internet access to review webpages
  • Different colored ribbons to distinguish teams


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Games
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Yoshioka, Melissa


  • All rights reserved, Eric H. Chudler, 2009