Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

Peter Torpie

M.S. 54, Manhattan



The Periodic Table of Elements Game

Jump to "Understanding the Speed and Acceleration Formulas"

Jump to "The Great Bookbag Alarm"



Purpose:                To reinforce the students’ knowledge of the periodic table of the elements. [Content Standard Unifying Concepts- Systems, order, and organization]


Motivation:             Divide the class into boy and girl teams and tell the students that “We’re going to find out once and for all if women are really better at science than men.”  (Its sexist, I know, but it motivates them like nothing I’ve ever seen!)


Procedure:           1.  All questions are based upon the table of elements, or information given in class regarding the table of elements.

                                2.  Each team appoints a spokesperson.  Only that person can give an answer, after consulting with teammates.  The spokesperson must give only the information asked for, no more, no less. [Teaching Standard E- Nurture collaboration among students]

                                3.  Each person on the team will have a copy of the table of elements, and can speak (quietly) to their teammates, but only the spokesperson can address the teacher.  If anyone other than the spokesperson answers the question, the team  loses a turn.  If the wrong information is given, even if for the right element, the turn is lost. 

                                4.  Each team will have 15 seconds to formulate an answer.

                                5.  If a team answers incorrectly, or cannot answer in the allotted time, the opposing team will have 15 second to answer the question.

                                6.  If neither team can answer a question, a new question is posed. 

                                7.  The first team to answer 15 questions correctly wins (suggested prize:  points on the next test grade for each team member).


                                Suggest format for questions:


                                “I am thinking of an element.  This element (give identifying characteristic) [5-8 Content Standard B- Properties of matter].  What is the (name/symbol/atomic number/atomic weight/number of electrons/number of protons/meaning of the symbol) of this element?”    


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