Summer Research Program for Science Teachers


Judith Exler

Norman Thomas High School



August 2004



Anticodons and amino acids game



Objective: To review the process of protein synthesis


Materials: Index cards with DNA sequences; chart of amino acid(word)/anticodon

    Suggested DNA sequences:



3)      CAG ACC CCA



6)      CGC ACC CCG



1)      Students are broken up into groups of three students- one translates DNA into mRNA, one translates mRNA into tRNA, and the third student translates tRNA into the amino acids(words).


2)      The first student goes to the teacherís desk and selects an index card. The student translates the DNA into mRNA at the teacherís desk. Then the student brings the mRNA to his teamís table.



3)      The second student then translates the mRNA into tRNA.


4)      The third student looks up the words on the anticodon/amino acid chart.


After the students are finished, the teacher discusses the meaning of what happened.

Some questions that the teacher might ask include:

Why werenít the students allowed to take the index cards off the teacherís desk?(DNA doesnít leave the nucleus)

 What do the studentsí desks represent? (ribosomes in the cytoplasm)

 Why did some of the students end up with sentences that didnít make any sense? (mutation, misreading of genetic code)






Studentsí names___________________________________________________________________


Anticodons and amino acids game


Word (amino acid)     Anticodon

1. your                       AAA; AAG

2. wears                     AAU; AAC; GAA; GAC; GAU; GAC                             UAC

4. the                          UAA: UAG: UAU

5. this                         CAA: CAG: CAU

6. we                          AGA; AGG, AGU, AGC, UCA, UCG

7. around                   GGA, GGG, GGU, GGC

8. DNA                      UGA, UGG, UGU, UGC

9. biology                   CGA, CGG, CGA, CGC

10. you                      AUA, AUG

11. father                   GUA, GUG

12. sneakers               GUU, GUC

13. all                         UUA, UUG

14. are                         UUU, UUC

15.code                       CUA, CUG

16. brother                  CUU, CUC

17. together                 ACA, ACG

18. is                           ACC

19. life                        UCA, GCA, GCG, UCC, GCU, GCC

20. fun                        CCA, CCG, CCU, CCC


Your sentence in codons:


Your sentence in anticodons:


Your sentence in English:



National Standards:

Program Standard A: Teaching practices need to be consistent with the goals and curriculum framework.
Content Standard C: All students will develop an understanding of the molecular basis of heredity.
Teaching standard A: Select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student
understanding and nurture a community of science learners.
Teaching Standard B: Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning.


The NYC science standards:
S2b The student produces evidence that demonstrates understanding of the molecular basis of heredity
S2d Demonstrate an understanding of matter, energy, and organization of lving systems
S4a Demonstrates an understanding of big ideas and concepts
S5f Works individually and in groups to collect and share information.




Return to Biology Lesson Plans Menu