Overview

In this activity, students are separated into groups and are tasked with finding out where in the cell Carmen Sandiego is hiding.
Groups of 4-5 students are placed into the four corners of a classroom where they have a poster board with clues on them. Each group starts in a different location in the cell. Using their knowlege of the cell, groups must follow the clues on their poster board to track down Carmen Sandiego, who is hiding in the ribosome.
The first team to find Carmen Sandiego wins!
If groups choose the wrong organelle, they get sent back to ...

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In this activity, students are separated into groups and are tasked with finding out where in the cell Carmen Sandiego is hiding.
Groups of 4-5 students are placed into the four corners of a classroom where they have a poster board with clues on them. Each group starts in a different location in the cell. Using their knowlege of the cell, groups must follow the clues on their poster board to track down Carmen Sandiego, who is hiding in the ribosome.
The first team to find Carmen Sandiego wins!
If groups choose the wrong organelle, they get sent back to the start position and must restart their clue trail.

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Objectives

Students apply their knowledge of the cell to the clues they receive in order to find Carmen Sandiego. This involves understanding the role of different cellular organelles and their locatoin in the cell.

Students also practice working as a team, since they are in groups of 4-5.

Context and requirements

Level Grade 12-U0
Discipline Biology
Activity Content Cellular components
Technological Requirements None, but require the poster boards and poster materials to be printed
Best Use Practice

Author’s Notes

Benefits

Students really enjoy this activity because they need to solve riddles and essentially go on a ‘treasure hunt’ to find Carmen Sandiego. The potential of getting a wrong answer and going back to ‘start’ increases the incentive to collaborate as a team and consider the correctness of their answers before proceeding.

Challenges

Making sure groups don’t overhear each other.

Tips

The best way to do this activity is to separate groups into the four corners of the classroom; that way there is less chance that they will overhear each other.
Having a prize for the winning team is great motivation. This can be something like pencils or a mug; alternatively, it could be bonus points on a midterm or test.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Problem Solving

Students get into their groups and read through their first clue. They then discuss amongst themselves what the clue means and where to search next in the cell for Carmen Sandiego.

Analysis

Following the clues to Carmen Sandiego’s location (ribosome) requires knowledge of the cell and its organelles (location, function, morphology). Students need to rely on their previous knowledge of the cell to correctly interpret the clues.

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