5 Creative Ways to Teach Carbohydrates that Keep Students Engaged

Job Brisby Eloja

Carbohydrates are our main sources of energy. We get them from the food we eat, especially those rich in starch and sugar. Actually, carbohydrates are sugars, so we can find them in any kind of sweet food.

But you can’t really see carbohydrates. The molecules are too small, and you can’t even see them under a microscope. If you’re an instructor and you need to teach this topic, you may find it hard. After all, how can you effectively teach students about something they can’t even see?

Though carbohydrates are a complex topic to teach, there are ways to make it simpler and more fun. Here are five ways you can teach students about carbohydrates in more engaging ways.

1. Engage Students with Interactive Models of Carbohydrates

With these models, students can interact with carbohydrates. They can see the shapes of the molecules, their 3D forms, and how each atom is bonded to one another. They are way better than static images they can see in textbooks.

Some models can even be manipulated. Students can see what happens when the body breaks down carbohydrates. They can also see how energy is created from these molecules. 

With the help of interactive models, students will better understand processes like glycolysis as well. These processes are often complex, so using models will ensure that students can comprehend the topic.

2. Make It Fun with Games and Activities

Learning is not limited to lectures in the classroom. Studies have shown that students comprehend topics better when they have fun while learning them. Instructors can add variety to the learning process through games and activities. 

Virtual lab simulations, such as Labster’s Carbohydrates: The sugars that feed us Virtual Lab accomplish this goal well. These simulations let students see what happens to carbohydrates in the digestive system, how they enter the bloodstream, and how the body uses them as energy.

Looking at the molecular structure of sucrose in a virtual lab.

In fact, when students are playing educational games, they are learning even when they’re not aware of it. Imagine the surprise on their faces when they ace tests and quizzes after playing those games.

3. Use Technology to Help With Lessons

Technology is part and parcel of the lives of students today. They grew up with it, and they expect to use technology to help them learn. Instructors are getting increasingly more comfortable with using technology as teaching tools.

Tools like video, multimedia, and virtual reality help make the learning experience more immersive. If instructors make use of technology, they are helping their students learn more effectively. 

When students can engage more of their senses while learning about carbohydrates, they can better master the topic. The Carbohydrates virtual lab from Labster is an example of such technological teaching aids.

Virtual lab image showing a carbohydrate
Discover Labster's Carbohydrates virtual lab today!

4. Inspire Students Through Career Exploration

If students can see how this topic relates to what they want to do in the future, they will appreciate it more. Learning about carbohydrates is useful for fields like:

  • Medicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Food manufacturing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nutrition
  • Nursing

It pays for instructors to tell students how they can use this topic in the future. This way, they will be more inspired to master this topic.

5. Connect Topic to Real-World Applications

Carbohydrates, by themselves, are too small to appreciate. But small as they are, they have powerful real-world applications. Students can value this topic better if they know how it relates to everyday life.

For one, learning about carbohydrates can make them watch the food they eat. Once students appreciate what carbohydrates can do to the body, they can better take care of their health. 

Final thoughts

Using more than one method to teach carbohydrates helps students master the topic. They gain a better appreciation of key concepts, and they would be encouraged to learn on their own. As they explore the intestines and how they work, students will have no problems understanding how nutrients are absorbed.

Also, not all students learn in the same way. Some are visual learners, while some prefer sounds, and others prefer to explore and manipulate models. This is where Labster simulations come in. The Virtual Lab Carbohydrates: The sugars that feed us can help teach this topic to students. 

Molecule visualizer workbench.

They can explore the structure and function of carbohydrates at their own pace. They can repeat the simulation as many times as they want, too. This way, they can really master the concepts behind this topic.

Try our free 30-day All Access Educator's Pass today and play the Carbohydrates simulation alongside 300+ other virtual labs!
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