Periodic Table Activities & Games

Instructor: Julie Zundel

Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education.

Learning about periodic tables doesn't sound particularly exciting, until now! This series of games and activities is designed to teach students about periodic tables in a fun, hands-on way that will enhance any chemistry course.

Learning About Periodic Table

Learning about and understanding the periodic table, or a table that organizes elements based on similar properties, is a key concept in chemistry. While learning about the elements can often be dull, this series of activities and games is sure to spice up any periodic table lesson.

Periodic Table Battleship

This fun game familiarizes students with group and period numbers as well as where elements are located on the periodic table.

Materials (per student)

  • Two Laminated periodic tables
  • Dry erase marker
  • Folder
  • Glue
  • Paperclips
  • Create the board by gluing one periodic table to the top of a folder and the other to the bottom of the folder. When students play, have them paperclip two folders together (see image).

Battleship set up

Game Instructions

  • Each student needs to make his or her 'ships' with dry erase marker on the periodic table that is laying flat on the file folder. Depending on the grade level, ship size can vary from a ship that is 2 elements to a ship that is 6 elements. The shape can vary as well (some horizontal and some vertical). Students can make 3 - 6 ships (depending on what you/the class decides).
  • Player 1 will call out a period and group number and player 2 will identify which element that represents. Player 2 will then indicate if that is a 'miss' or a 'hit.'
  • The top periodic table on the file folder is used to show what are hits or misses for the opponent.
  • Repeat with player 2.
  • The player who sinks all of his or her opponent's ships first is the winner.


This can be modified for players to call out elemental symbols, mass numbers or atomic numbers.

What Are We?

This lab has students perform observations and tests to try to identify where the mystery elements belong on the periodic table. This list of materials and tests are just suggestions and can be modified depending upon what is available. Students should begin this lab with a basic understanding of the properties different elements on the periodic table share. For example: metals are lustrous, are good conductors, etc.

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