Materials needed: 1 sheet of lined paper for each pair of students. (This is so the students have a place to write down each of their answers. I also have them write down the problem number so it’s really quick and easy to check their answers.)
*For the advanced version the students will also need access to a periodic table.
Once you have all of the cards hidden around your classroom, tell the kids that they will work in pairs to find the cards and then work together to determine the answers.
Make sure to tell the students that they may only take ONE card at a time & they need to have you check their answer before they find and grab another card. (And if their answer is incorrect, they will obviously need to go back and fix their answer and have you re-check it.)
The pair with the most cards at the end, wins! Afterward, have the students hide the cards for the next class (they LOVE doing this too).
If you print the cards on several different colors, you can assign teams to specific colors. The students will answer more questions doing it this way, but it’s kind of a pain to hide that many cards.
Another option: If you print the cards on several different colors, you can also put all of the cards in a container on your desk. Using the same idea, have teams grab one card at a time and take them back to their desks to solve the problems. They will still need to show you their answers before moving on to the next one. The first team to solve all of their problems, wins. This option still allows the students to get up out of their seats, but it won’t seem as “chaotic.”
I have used this activity both ways & the kids enjoy both.
There are 2 versions:
-basic (determine protons, neutrons, or electrons for each)
-advanced (determine protons, neutrons, electrons, valence electrons, state of matter, group, period, or metal/metalloid/nonmetal for each)