Roll-and-Write Protein Sequence Game

Roll and Write Protein Sequence Game with 4 sided dice
Roll and Write Protein Sequence Game with 4 sided dice

Do your students need practice writing protein sequences from a mRNA nucleotide sequence? I know mine always do! Here is a game I created that you can print out for your students to play against each other as they create the longest protein sequence they can, by rolling three dice to get the nucleotides for each codon!

Each student needs a protein sequence game instruction sheet, a codon chart, and three different color dice. I wrote the game instruction sheet to be used with 6 sided dice because I know other teachers tend to have more of those already but this works even better if you are a teacher with a handful of 4 sided dice! (You can find a bunch of 6 sided here on Amazon or some 4 sided here on Amazon ).

I include Amazon affiliate links to the dice and tools I’m using in this post because I know you’ll want to know and ask me what I used. If you click the link and buy a tool, I will get a few cents, which I will undoubtedly save in my Amazon account to use to purchase board games for my kids.

Roll and Write Protein Sequence Game with 6 sided dice
Roll and Write Protein Sequence Game with 6 sided dice

Basically, students roll the dice to get the nucleotides of a codon (they re-roll 5 or 6; 1-4 symbolize A, U, C, and G).

Legend for roll and write protein sequence game

Instead of re-rolling a 5 or 6, you could also make those “wild” and have students choose which nucleotide to use, adding a bit of strategy to the game! They write their nucleotide sequence in and then they look up the amino acid that matches that codon from the codon chart. If they get a stop codon, they STOP! The player with the longest protein (polypeptide) sequence wins!

I think your students will want to play this over and over again (especially if they get a stop codon early on in their polypeptide sequence) so I recommend making a class set and lamenting them! That way, students could use dry-erase markers and just erase after round 1 and play again!

You can get this printable game for free by subscribing to my free resource library and email list at the bottom of this blog post (or going here). The library is here. I have a bunch of other resources in there you might enjoy if you teach middle or high school science. I send an email out to my email list every week with tips, resources, or news and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Hope your students have fun playing this game! Have a great week!

The Cell Membrane Game