Updated to a unit, including two worksheets and a Card Sort activity.
Increase thinking skills as students learn to use a simple substitution cipher to decode a knowledge statement about elements. This can also be used cross-curricular to social studies since ciphers have been used for centuries in warfare to send hidden messages.
These worksheets also make wonderful fillers or homework papers. Once the skill is learned, the activity can be extended as students make their own ciphers to hide important content knowledge statements or vocabulary for their classmates to decode.
This quick and easy code puzzle worksheet was designed to target part of the confusion surrounding elements and compounds, while stimulating the thinking skills so needed for the Texas STAAR Science, grade 8.
To work it, students practice solve an example of an element in code, and then use that code to define what an element is. They continue by writing both statements again at the bottom of the sheet. On the next worksheet, they repeat the process using the definition of a compound.
For 6th grade, these worksheets can be used as an introduction or reinforcement for elements and compounds. For 8th grade, these worksheets can be used as a review, reinforcement and clarification of a state-tested topic.
The added card sort of Element and Compound cards allows students to create a T-Chart and physically sort through which is an element and which is a compound. Each element and compound is presented in several ways, with element or chemical names, chemical symbols or formulas, and circle diagrams to allow the student to further match the elements to the compounds.
Teachers can print a card sort group set on card stock or just let the student cut out and paste the cards on construction paper. There are also empty cards for students to find compounds and elements in their science book and sort those as well.