James Bond, Cellular Spy

This activity involves students as cellular spies whose mission is to secretly crack a DNA code. Students are given their own unique sequence that must be decoded secretly and in complete silence.  When students decode their sequence, they move around the room to find beads that match their amino acids to create a protein sequence. The teacher then checks the sequence to see if the mission has been completed successfully.  Student handouts and discussion questions are included. Students demonstrate the process of protein synthesis in this activity.  Students must have an understanding of translation and trascription, DNA and RNA, and how DNA contains the genetic code for proteins.  This activity directly relates to the u201cchecku201d of using models of DNA, RNA, and amino acids to explain replication and protein synthesis.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3002.3.2
Employ various prewriting strategies.
CLE 3210.4.1
Investigate how genetic information is encoded in nucleic acids.
CLE 3210.4.2
Describe the relationships among genes, chromosomes, proteins, and hereditary traits.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 


  •  The students will more fully understand the process of transcription and translation by becoming part of the cell.
  • The students will be able to translate an amino acid sequence to create a protein.
  • The students will understand why decoding an amino acid sequence is so important in real life situations.
  • They will be able to identify what a mutation is and why it happens.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: