Cellular Respiration: The Play

My students (and I) were getting bored with the chalkboard and teacher version of understanding cellular respiration, so I decided to try something different: acting. This was an epic fail when I was a student teacher (complete with me standing on my desk and yelling out instructions), but I tweaked it this time around and made a script, assigned everyone roles, and even made one of the students the narrator:

Cellular Respiration The Play

This time around, it was a huge success–the students really loved that they could see how the sugar molecule was breaking down and where each of those carbons were going.


  • type in the students name directly onto the document so that they can see how they are “cast” throughout
  • have some of the roles carry though (i.e. have the 3 kids in pyruvate #1 from glycolysis be the pyruvate molecule in the Krebs cycle)–this makes it more fun for the kids and helps them to see how it’s a continuous process
  • have them make signs indicating what they are (i.e. ATP #1 had a sign that said ATP on one side and ADP on the other side so that everyone could see the switch that was made)
  • have them do one stage at a time–to to it all from start to finish gets complicated with the part switches
  • have them do a “dress rehearsal”–I had them all run through their parts one time, and then they did the “final show” which ran much smoother

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