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Photosynthesis Tag

Plants consume carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe. Play this game of photosynthesis tag to learn how plants use this greenhouse gas to produce oxygen!

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  • How will you tell who is oxygen and who is carbon dioxide?
  • What is oxygen? What is carbon dioxide?
  • What else do plants need to perform photosynthesis besides carbon dioxide?


  • Play a game of tag to see how photosynthesis works.
  • In photosynthesis, plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and the sugars that provide energy for the plant. This is important because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas! By using up carbon dioxide, plants can help prevent climate change. Humans and other animals do the opposite! We consume oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
  • To play the game, split into two groups. One group will be oxygen and the other will be carbon dioxide.
  • You will need to have a way to differentiate the groups that allows everyone to switch from oxygen to carbon dioxide and vice versa (for example: one team wears their neckers and the other keeps them in their pocket).
  • There will be two people who are ‘it’ and they will each represent either a human or a tree. If a carbon dioxide is touched by a tree, it must turn into an oxygen.
  • If an oxygen is touched by a human, it must turn into a carbon dioxide!


  • At the end of the game, did you have mostly oxygen, mostly carbon dioxide, or an even mix of the two? Why do you think this is?
  • What impact do trees have on climate change?
  • What about algae? Do seaweeds and algae perform photosynthesis as well?
  • How do humans benefit from plants?
  • Remember to submit your activities on our Scouts for Sustainability Take Action Map


  • You will need to have a way to identify which youth are carbon dioxide or oxygen, and allows them to switch back and forth.

Keep it Simple

  • To make this game easier, you could choose to only have one person be it. This person will represent a tree. All youth will start as carbon dioxide and when they are tagged by the tree they will become oxygen and they will be out.

Take it Further

  • Once you finish your game of photosynthesis tag, do some research online to find other ways we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.