Teacher-created wikispace of games and activities

Peggy Au and Rachel Toews.Introduction

As educators over the past several years, we are aware that students are often challenged by certain concepts in the high school chemistry program. As a result, we have developed these multi-sensory and hands-on learning activities. The games are designed for students to work individually, in small groups, or within the entire class setting. The activities can be done at the beginning of class, to bridge major concepts, in the last ten minutes of class to check student understanding, or during tutorial time. Some students also take the activities home to review and prepare. This gives students the flexibility and choice to select activities that best support their learning preferences. 

To give a broad overview and capture the gist of these games, we selected images of some favourite activities. If one or more of these activities interest you, all of the templates, rules, guidelines and files along with assessments are available to download for free on our playeducateinspire.pbworks.com wikispace. 

The pbworks wikispace was started in 2012 to post the activites we were doing in our classes. Currently, over 1000 invited users are using this space throughout North America and New Zealand. Teachers are welcome to upload files to share on the site. This article showcases only a sampling of some of the shared activities created and uploaded by teachers who have become members of our wikispace.   

We hope that you will enjoy using these activities as much as our students do! 


Magnetic puzzles, paper triominoes, squares, and templates

  • Periodic puzzles
  • Acid naming & mole calculation triominoes
  • Compound naming squares (Tracey Stock, Elk Island School District, AB)

Puzzles including acid name rules, definintions with terms and examples for Grade 10 (left), and chemical names and formulas for Science 10, 20 , 30  Chem 20, 30 (right).Puzzles including acid name rules, definintions with terms and examples (left), and chemical names and formulas (right).

Concept dice

3D printed plastic dice, paper dice, wooden, acrylic dice, and templates (3D printing files also available at Wikispace).

  • Anion/cation dice (solubility)
  • Molecular compound dice
  • Ionic compound dice
  • Organic compound dice

 3D printed plastic dice, paper dice, wooden, acrylic dice, and templates. Example of game played on the right.Naming and predicting compounds.

3D cubes for practicing organic nomenclature and classification. Six dice include chemical names, structures and terms.3D cubes for practicing organic nomenclature and classification.

Card sorts

Magnetic with metal stand or whiteboard, paper cardstock and templates.

  • Interpreting graphs, equilibrium, gas laws, uniform/non-uniform motion
  • Compare/contrast concepts/terms, organic reactions and organic families, exo/endothermic reactions, electrochemical cells, oxidation/reduction, chemical reactions

Example of Lewis Diagram card sort showing hydrogen, silicon, nitrogen, sulfur and chlorine.Compare and contrast molecular compounds: All pieces are cut out and students need to put them together. The title and first row of items remain intact and the pieces outlined with dotted lines are cut out into individual pieces to sort under the appropriate column (paper or magnetic versions).

Paper card version of activity in progress, easily done on students’ desks.Paper card version of activity in progress, easily done on students’ desks.

 Magnetic verson of cardsorts on a double-sided metal stand to compare different concepts. Magnetic verson of cardsorts on a double-sided metal stand to compare different concepts. These cardsorts can also be used on a whiteboard in the classroom. 

 Concept cards

Paper, templates

  • Scientific Inquiry method
  • Chemical/Physical properties
  • Redox and Acid/Base card games
  • Organic Ester Rummy, Organic cards

Examples of card games available, including Element Cards, Chemical vs. Physical Properties, Scientific Inquiry Model, and Metal/Non-metal Properties A variety of card games — different number of players and card games.

A chemistry card game in action.A chemistry card game in action.

Plays, poems, memes, Venn diagrams, science yoga

  • Voltaic cell play
  • Modeling atoms/ions, beaker, styrofoam balls to represent protons, neutrons, electrons

Manipulatives for modeling.  Two beakers labeled "Li" and "Li2+". Each beaker is filled with a different number of ping-pong balls.Manipulatives for modeling.  

 Poster showing moves for leading a session of Science Yoga based on chemical bonding and structure.Science Yoga will get the students out of their seats.

Overviews and relays

  • pH titration curves; reaction, lab equipment
  • Science waves, Criss-Cross Chemistry
  • ICE table, graphs, and Kc calculations
  • Amphiprotic substances terms and definitions

Examples of Relays and Overviews, including Science Waves, Criss-Cross Science and Lab Equipment and Materials.Visual games to engage students: These overviews and relays can be used to organize students in teams in class or outside as a physical education relay. White boards or laminated pages can be used to record student progress by team. 

 Science strips

Used to sequence procedures, hierarchy of substances, and matching

  • Calorimetry procedure, Combustion of Fuel, Formation of MgO, Heat of Neutralization or Solution

Example of Science strips, each strip of a paper with steps for conducting a calorimetric experiment and hormone feedback loops, which challenge students to put steps in the right order.Students order procedures or rank properties, such as thermal stability, boiling point, ionization energy, electronegativity, size of ionic or atomic radii, electron affinity, etc.

 Unit review and course review mats

  • Organized by unit/topic includes examples
  • Used as a checklist or review of material covered in class

Placemat with all the information summarized on Expanded Organic Reactions Summary A (Advanced).These placemats help students visualize an entire chemistry unit all in one place.