Of Microbes and Men:

 The Nitrogen Cycle Game

Summary: Students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle to gain understanding of the varied pathways through the cycle and the relevance of nitrogen to living things. 



* Lesson plans are available in .ppt format for easy customization. This lesson includes 4 sections for easy download. Please contact us with any questions or problems.


NGSS Standards Addressed:


  • Middle School

    • MS-LS2-3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

      • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

      • LS2.B : Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

  • High School

    • HS-LS2-4: Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.

      • LS2.B Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

Colorado State Standards Addressed:


  • 6th Grade        

    • Life Science 2.2: Organisms interact with each other and their environment in various ways that create a flow of energy and cycling of matter in an ecosystem.

  • High School

    • Life Science 2.1: Matter tends to be cycled within an ecosystem, while energy is transformed and eventually exits and ecosystem.

      • 2.1.f : Describe how carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and water cycles work (DOK 1-2)

© 2017 by Peter L. Erb.

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