Protein synthesis is not one of my favorite biology topics to teach. It can be a big enough struggle to get students understanding all those A's, U's, C's, and G's, and then even MORE of a struggle to get them understanding the bigger picture on how that code translates to a trait. But, I have a fun way for you to review the amino acid wheel chart with your students! --> BINGO.
I was recently at Dollar Tree and found this bingo cage with 60 balls, cards, and chips for a buck! The balls are numbered on one side, but I grabbed a sharpie and wrote some A's, U's, C's and G's on the back. Break off the balls, place them in the cage, and get ready to have some fun!
Students are given a bingo card that has amino acids listed. (You can also give them a blank bingo card and have them choose their own amino acids). Begin by giving the cage a spin and remove 3 balls. Call out the three letters in the order they left the cage. Students look up the three amino acids on the codon wheel chart and cover it up on their bingo card.
Can't find the bingo cage at your local dollar store? They are also available to purchase on Amazon, or you can buy ping pong balls instead (which are a little easier to pick up) and pull them out of a plastic tub.
Want some other protein synthesis lesson ideas? Check out this blog post.