A fun Protein folding activity to to teach protein folding for your Biomolecules unit. Teach protein folding in an interactive and creative way. Students will answer the question ‘Why and how do proteins fold up into 3D shapes?’ by actually making their own protein model!
The Protein Folding Activity includes:
- Student handout with content and reflection questions (one page, front and back)
- Answer key
- The PolyPeptide chain page, used for making the 3D protein
- A detailed four page, five step teaching guide
In the past, my students struggled to understand why proteins folded up, the 20 different amino acids, peptide bonds….it all became a messy blur to them. They need a way to actually see protein folding in real life. Since starting to use this activity, my kids really understand what is going on. They can see the link between the R-Groups (side chains), the order of the amino acids, and the shape of the protein.
If you choose to do the entire activity, it will take about 60 minutes. The teaching guide includes adjustments to reduce the amount of time needed.
Includes ideas for using this model to teach the four stages of protein folding for more advanced or AP classes!
Easy set up! Students only need two print outs from this resource, and tape! Colored pencils or markers are optional.
Use the protein folding activity to connect to new content again and again throughout the year.
Making a protein lays a great foundation for discussing
- Nucleic Acids: How does your cell know what order the amino acids should be in? Mutations: What if this one amino acid were different? Or missing?
- Denatured enzymes: The 3D proteins you make can also be used to demonstrate when proteins are denatured by heat, acid or base.
Click here to preview the Protein Folding Activity!
The Protein Folding Activity resource has thirteen 5-star reviews on Teachers Pay Teachers.
What some happy teachers are saying about it:
I loved this fun protein assignment! All of my students were engaged and excited to show theirs off. It led to great discussions about protein synthesis. – Melanie J. – December 1, 2021
My Ap Biology students enjoyed this activity. It allowed them to see how proteins fold and discuss the properties of the R groups of the amino acids. It definitely makes the concept less abstract. Thank you! – Janel F. – October 24, 2021
I did this with my IB juniors and they loved it! Being perfectionists they were a little anxious that they were building them wrong but in the end when I had them compare theirs to others to show them the differences it really clicked with them – Ladonna M. October 1, 2021
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Looking for more teaching resources for Biomolecules?
- Biomolecules Doodle Notes
- Cell Membrane Transport Doodle Notes
- Enzymes Doodle Notes and Full Lesson Plans