Electron configuration is a classic example of a challenging chemical concept. Students have no real previous exposure or foundation in the idea, and the terms are new and confusing. Even the pattern in which it works doesn’t seem to make sense to students. “First you go to 1s, then you go to 2s, and then 2p?! What?! Where did P come from?”
This game should be done at the beginning of the lesson, before you ever mention anything about electron configuration. By framing it in a game format, and by making it more like a puzzle, students will be less likely to be intimidated or scared by the concept. Once they get a good grasp of the concept, you can then start to deepen their learning with orbital notations and charges.
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This is part of a series of activities and lesson on Electrons in Atoms by No More Boring Science
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