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Chemical Reaction Games & Activities

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Do you need engaging ways to help your students understand chemical reactions? You don't have to search anymore! Check out this lesson on games and activities for chemical reactions that are sure to get positive reactions from your students.

Chemical Reactions

Do your students know what elements create a chemical reaction that fizzes and erupts? Whether you're talking about a simple reaction, like baking soda and vinegar, or a more complex reaction with thermite, you are actually changing the chemical make-up of substances.

Teaching students the basics of chemical reactions can be overwhelming, but the ideas in this lesson will help. You can easily adapt any of the games or activities to better meet the needs of your students or the content you're teaching.

Games

Go React!

Students get to play a unique version of 'Go Fish' with chemical reactions.

Materials for each group

  • Substance cards (the ingredients and means by which a chemical reaction will take place)
    • Example: adding baking soda to vinegar
  • Reaction cards (pictures or descriptions of a chemical reaction taking place)
    • Example: fizzing, expanding substance
  • Reference on chemical reaction examples (notes, texts, experiments)

Note that you could also do cards for types of reactions that match to a card of a specific reaction. Types of reactions would be: combination, decomposition, displacement, combustion, etc.

Rules

  • Students will play in groups of 2-4 to match substances to their reactions.
  • Players decide who goes first. Play will continue with the player to the left of player one.
  • Game play will be similar to 'Go Fish.' Player one will shuffle all of the cards and deal 5 cards to each player. The remaining cards will be placed upside down in a pile.
  • Player one will look at his/her hand to see if there are any matches. If there's a match, he/she will lay those cards down face up. If there's no match, he/she will ask one player for a specific card.
    • If the player has the requested card, he/she must give it to player one.
    • If the player does not have the requested card, he/she will say 'Go React.' Player one will have to draw a card from the pile.
  • Players will continue taking turns in this manner.
  • When all of the cards have been matched, the player with the most matches wins. A reference can be used to determine correct matches at any time.

Jeopardy

Review information before a test or a quiz with a game of Jeopardy.

Materials

  • Prepared Jeopardy Board (created with PowerPoint and projected onto screen from computer or created by hand)
    • 5 categories of questions, such as: Vocabulary Matters, Types of Reactions, Chemical Reactions, Compare and Contrast, and Examples of Reactions
    • 5 amounts and questions under each category from $100 to $500; the $500 question should be more challenging than the $100 question
  • Answer sheet
  • Scoreboard

Rules

  • Students will play on 4 to 5 teams.
  • Decide which team will go first. Ask that team to select a category and amount. Example: Vocabulary Matters for $500.
  • The team will have approximately one minute to discuss and decide on an answer. Other teams must pay attention at this time and work on finding an answer in case team one is incorrect. When the allotted time is up, have the team deliver their answer.
  • If correct, the team will earn the amount for that question and it is the next team's turn.
  • If incorrect, the team will not earn any money and the question will go back to the board for another team to have a chance.
  • Teams will continue taking turns until all questions on the board have been answered.
  • The team with the most money at the end of play wins.

Activities

What's Your Reaction?

Students get to become the teachers with this activity as they set up mini learning stations in the classroom.

Materials

  • Poster boards (single or tri-fold)
  • Markers, crayons, colored pencils
  • References on chemical reactions
  • 3 options for creating posters:
    • Computer programs, like Microsoft Word
    • By hand
    • Combination of handmade and technology
  • Variety of chemical reaction materials safe for school
    • Students will need time to collect items either from school supplies or home

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