C3 Photosynthesis Game




NOTE: This game is included in my “Botany in 8 Lessons” curriculum.  If you already own the Botany book, you do not need to purchase this game separately.

“C3” is one of the 3 types of photosynthesis.  It occurs in plants of temperate and moist climates.  Plants that live in hot, dry climates have to use modified forms of photosynthesis, such as C4 and CAM (crassulacean acid metabolism).   This game allows students to go through C3 photosynthesis step by step, playing the parts of all the molecules involved, from the free electrons and protons to the “shuttle buses” that carry them around, and the crazy carbon fixing carousel .   The game starts with photons of light hitting the photoreceptive pigments, and ends with the production or one or more PGAL molecules (the precursor molecules to glucose) in the Calvin cycle.  It’s as in-depth as any student will ever need to go unless they major in botany in college.

What you get in this download:  All patterns and instructions.  All you need to do is print them out and have scissors, glue stick and tape handy.  The board is made of 8 color pages which can be printed (in color) on regular paper.  There are 2 pattern pages for small parts (such as water molecules and NADP shuttle buses) that should be printed out onto colored card stock. (Most home printers can handle card stock if you use the manual feed tray.)  Each player will choose a different color.  It takes a few hours to assemble the game, but it can be re-used in future semesters, so it’s well worth the time you put into it.

EXTRA INFO:  I’m assuming you’ve already been studying photosynthesis in your class, but if you need a user-friendly (and mildly humorous) explanation, you can download the explanation pages from my curriculum here.

If you have trouble figuring out how to play even after reading the instructions, you might want to access the how-to video I made a few years ago and posted on youtube.