Protein Synthesis Role Play

Steve Tester
Alexandria City, Virginia



After the teacher introduces protein synthesis to the students roles are assigned and students playing different parts of protein synthesis translate hemoglobin.






  1. Take 32 tRNA pictures and write the anticodons 1-32 in the three blocks at the bottom.


  1. Take the 32 amino acids and tape them to their tRNA. (file Protein Synthesis Activity – Codes.htm). I write the name of the amino acid on the back tRNA that it codes to simplify putting it back together later on.


  1. Print out the file Protein Synthesis Activity – Codes.htm for your own use



  1. Describe protein synthesis to the students.
  2. Write the DNA code for the student on the board (file Protein Synthesis Activity – Codes.htm).
  3. Describe the cell location of transcription.
  4. Block off codons and assign them to students to transcribe.
  5. After all transcription has taken place pass out the tRNAs with their amino acids attached.
  6. Choose a student to be the ribosome or you are the ribosome.
  7. Describe the cell location of protein synthesis.
  8. Have the ribosome read the mRNA code and ask the students “who has the tRNA match for the code”
  9. Have the student come up with his/her tRNA and stand at the board.
  10. Do this for two codons
  11. Bond the first amino acid to the second with tape (describing what is happening)
  12. Have the first tRNA sit back down.
  13. Repeat until finished at STOP
  14. Describe how Methionine is cut off and then wrap the protein around to fold to describe different levels of protein structure.