Fun Games to Play in Chemistry Class

By Keren Perles

Are your students nodding off during chemistry class? Try some of these exciting chemistry games to liven up your classroom.

Periodic Table Bingo

If you’re teaching your students about the periodic table, try using this chemistry game to review what you’ve taught. Give out a blank Bingo sheet to each student, or have them make their own. Provide each student with a periodic table. Then have students select random elements from the periodic table and insert them into the squares of their Bingo sheet, leaving the middle square as a “wild" square. Then call out clues that point to a specific element which can be identified by understanding the periodic table, such as “a noble gas that has two full shells of electrons." Encourage students to identify the element and place a marker on that element if they have it on their Bingo sheets. The first student to fill up their sheet wins!

Who Am I?

This chemistry game works well for any lesson that includes a lot of terms. With students, brainstorm a list of these terms on the board. Then give one student a definition, or a clue to a specific term, and have that student identify which term you are referring to. For example, you might say “When something dissolves into me, we become a solution." If that student answers correctly, she can take a turn making up a clue for another student. If not, choose another student and try again.

Atom Arranging

In the mood for more physically active chemistry games? Try this game to review the filling of electron shells. Split the class into two or more groups, and give each group stacks of chairs and a large amount of space. When you call out the name of an element, each group should hurry to arrange the chairs in the necessary number of electron shells, with one student occupying each chair that would represent an existing electron. Begin with elements that have lower atomic numbers, such as Lithium, which would only have two filled electrons in the inner shell and one in an outer shell.