In this activity, students learn what it means for an enzyme to be denatured. Students role play as "enzymes" that must put together a "molecule". Each group goes through several trials -- one enzyme, many enzymes, "socked" (denatured) enzymes, many "socked" enzymes, and no enzymes.
Students often have a difficult time understanding enzymes because they cannot "see" it happening. This activity helps students to see the difference between a fully functioning enzyme, a denatured enzyme, and a nonfunctional enzyme. They learn how denaturing or unfunctional enzymes affect the body by not being able to produce their products.
This activity is student approved -- all of my classes have loved it, and it has improved their understanding of enzymes!
Teacher directions (materials, procedure, and question examples)
Optional student data sheet with questions
Examples of expected answers
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