At the recent Annual Conference of the Association for Science Education, Science Museum staff encouraged grown men and women to race excitedly around the room, transferring coloured plastic balls from one container into another and back again! They were taking part in an elaborate activity called 'Carbon Cycle Caper', designed to show 12 year-olds how the carbon cycle works, by becoming physically and mentally involved for a period of some 70 minutes. The Science Museum website gives full details for teachers who might wish to organise the activity for up to 60 pupils at once in the school hall or playground. It took over a year to develop and some details had to be omitted (including the fact that the biggest store of carbon in the Earth and atmosphere is locked up in the rocks, in the form of limestones). Nevertheless, the activity provides a good stimulus for pupils to explore this most complex and important topic, and once organised for one cohort of pupils could then be more readily used in successive years.
You could also try our two carbon cycle Earthlearningidea activities:-
- Carbon goes round and round and round
- Carbon cycle through the window