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My chemistry students are taking weekly element quizzes until we have the symbols of the first 36 elements memorized. A couple of weeks ago, we played a few rounds of Element Bingo to give them practice remembering the symbols for each element.
Students were given a blank Element Bingo card (free download at the bottom of this post!) to fill out. There were 24 spaces on the bingo card, and students had to choose their elements from the first 36 that we were memorizing. Therefore, every student should have different elements on their bingo card than their classmates.
Here’s the blank bingo card they were given:
Not all of my students followed the directions to ONLY write the symbols on their bingo cards. I guess I need to emphasize this more next time! The students who did write the names and the symbols could still play bingo with us, but they didn’t get the practice of trying to remember what symbol stood for which element.
It just so happened that the day we were scheduled to play this was the same day that half of our chemistry class was missing due to a softball tournament. We ended up playing a few more rounds than I was planning on, but this worked out since I didn’t want to get too far ahead with half of my students missing!
My students took the game super seriously, and they were trying their best to think of the symbol that corresponded to the element called before checking their answer on the periodic table or their study guide. Magnesium and Manganese were a tricky pair for my students to keep straight. They also struggled with Neon and Nitrogen.
I couldn’t find my bingo chips when we went to play this, so I ended up pouring a bag of pompoms that I had bought for an activity later in the year in a few beakers to set around the room for students to use as bingo playing pieces.
They LOVED this! And, I’ve decided that a beaker full of pompoms is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.
For the element calling cards, I used a free download from STEM Sheets. I was able to specify exactly what I wanted on my bingo calling cards. I chose name and element symbol, but I could also have included atomic number, atomic mass, or state at STP. I was able to choose the number to print per page and exactly which elements I wanted to print.
My students really took to the bingo activity, so I look forward to incorporating it more later in the year. I see a game of polyatomic ion bingo in our future!
Free Download of Element Bingo Activity
Element Bingo (PDF) (738 downloads)
Element Bingo (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (480 downloads)
More Resources for Teaching the Periodic Table
- 12 Fun and Engaging Periodic Table Activities
- How the Periodic Table Really Looks Activity
- Odd One Out Chemistry Activity
- How to Read the Periodic Table Poster
- Element Quiz Generator
- Element Bingo Activity
- How Many Elements Can You Name Quiz
- Periodic Table of Mistakes Dry Erase Activity
- Chemistry Gossip Activity
- Periodic Table License Plate Project
- Chemical Symbol Foldable
- How to Read the Periodic Table Foldable
- Periodic Table War
- Sweet 16 Periodic Table Tournament
- Periodic Table of the Elements Project
Wednesday 11th of October 2017
One workaround for students not following directions is telling them that they can play with the names of the elements, but they won't be able to win, even if they get a Bingo. I find that most students will be extra careful if they know they might get disqualified after a win.