Learning a Cell Cycle by Playing a GAME?

Posted by allisyn on

Can YOU learn how a cell cycle works by playing a GAME?


That’s the challenge Sarah Jean-Daum gave her students – 7th-graders at NYC’s Cathedral School – earlier this month. The game in question? Control of the Cell Cycle, available on GameUp. On December 6th, we had the privilege of visiting the class to see how they were doing with said challenge.

Students had about 20 minutes to play Control of the Cycle individually on laptops.  They were fully engrossed as we observed them asking each other questions, taking notes, sharing tips, and checking in with their teacher.

When the 20 minutes were up, Sarah took some time to debrief. She asked the class questions about their game playing technique, leading them to collaborate at the whiteboard on an explanation of what they’d done. Most of the students commented that note-taking, as Sarah had suggested, proved helpful as they played.

Sarah then had students reenter the game and walk her through the steps they’d taken.  She prompted them to  label each phase and asked them if they’d noticed the visual aids embedded in the game. What happened in Gap 1? What happened in Synthesis?

The lesson wrapped up with BrainPOP’s Mitosis movie and its quiz. The class scored 9 out of 10!

We were thrilled to see that the students were able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the content, and remained engaged and enthusiastic throughout the whole lesson.

Are you using digital games to enhance your curriculum? We’d love to hear about it, check out our gaming forums, and speak up!