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Using the Carbon Cycle Interactive Game in the Classroom
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/teach_carbongame.html

Lisa Gardiner, Julia Genyuk, Windows to the Universe

In this activity, students learn how carbon cycles through the Earth system by playing an online game.

Game takes 20 minutes class time plus optional assessments.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

The abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is controlled by biogeochemical cycles that continually move these components between their ocean, land, life, and atmosphere reservoirs. The abundance of carbon in the atmosphere is reduced through seafloor accumulation of marine sediments and accumulation of plant biomass and is increased through deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels as well as through other processes.
About Teaching Principle 2
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man activities are impacting the climate system
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Energy Literacy

Fossil and bio fuels are organic matter that contain energy captured from sunlight.
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4.3 Fossil and bio fuels contain energy captured from sunlight.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
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Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
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A) Processes that shape the Earth.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:B) Changes in matter
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B) Changes in matter.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Follow use of the interactive with a more scientific explanation of processes working in each of the reservoirs.

About the Science

  • Very simplified description of the carbon cycle, with concepts possibly being oversimplified. Numbers listed in the interactive should be checked by an expert, especially as the increase of CO2 is likely higher now.
  • Comment from expert scientist: The game provides a very nice and fun approach to understand all compartments of Earth where carbon is stored and cycled and how these parts interact with each other. The provided links give age-appropriate information to understand additional concepts.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students answer a series of true-false questions while they play the carbon cycle game.
  • The game has no ending - player keeps playing and choosing different pathways - models what a "cycle" really is.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Extensive background materials for teachers.

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