Wednesday, January 26, 2011

DNA: Codon Bingo

Have your students fill in a blank Bingo card with amino acids - there aren't enough amino acids to fill a regular 5x5 card, so allow students to use each amino acid up to 2 times or use a smaller card.

Get 12 ping pong balls or practice golf balls.  Write A on three of them, C on three, G on three, and U on the last three.  Be careful... because the balls don't have an "up" side, C and U can look similar - you might want to put a line underneath each letter.  Place the ping pong balls into a bag or a hat.

Now play Bingo - pull 3 balls out of the bag, one at a time.  Have students translate those three letters into an amino acid and mark it on their Bing card if needed.

Return the balls to the bag, give it a shake and repeat.

You could write out all the 3 base combinations and pull them out of a bag, but I think the balls are more fun!   It would be even more fun if I could get my hands on one of those lottery/Bingo ball machines...

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