Who loved studying chemistry when they were kids? Maybe not that many. If we moms ever even liked the subject, it's been years since we've taken a good look at The Periodic Table of Elements. Did you know that it'll be adding five new elements?
Well, it's time to brush up on your knowledge of the elements, especially if you have a grade-schooler who's already studying the subject. What better way to get that refresher course on chemistry but with this genius mommy hack: Periodic Table Battleship.
Mom Karyn Tripp had a light-bulb moment and decided to help her kids remember the elements and their symbols by using the principles of the popular game Battleship, a game where you try to guess where your opponent’s ships are located; the one who eliminates his opponent’s ship first wins. She says her family plays the game often at home.
“I was studying chemistry with my kids and we were trying to think of a fun way to memorize them. So it just came to me!” said Tripp, a mom of four who has been homeschooling her kids for seven years," she told The Huffington Post. Seeing how it helped her 11-year-old son who's already studying the lesson in school, she decided to share it on her website TeachBesideMe.com for other moms to use.
Here's what you'll need to do: Print four copies of The Periodic Table of Elements Add letters for on the left side of the Periodic Table to label the rows. The rows together with the column numbers will serve as your "coordinates" to help you identify the "element ships". Laminate the four copies so you can reuse them. Then, use two folders and paper clips to set up the game and prepare washable markers.
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The rules of the gam are simple. “The kids can then mark where they want to place their ships by circling rows of 2, 3, 4, and 5 elements on the lower table. They play by calling out coordinates, Tripp explains on her website. "If they miss they put an X on the spot they chose on the upper table. If they get a hit, they circle it. They can continue playing until one person sinks all of another person’s ships."
Tripp says her kids would starting calling their element ships by their location coordinates. However, they got the hang of get the hang identifying the element ships by their name of symbol in no time. No need to drill them to memorize the names and symbols of the elements.
Okay, technically, the idea isn't new. Some educators have used tokens to mark the hits and misses. The main takeaway is that this is a fun and simple way to hit two birds play and learn. Educator Regina C. Licauco says, “Play is extremely important in that it allows children to develop social, language, motor and cognitive skills which are all as equally important as inculcating basic academic skills. In play, children feel free to explore their world.” You want your kids to learn, be in their element (pun intended): Teach them through play.
Photos from teachbesideme.com.
January 14, 2016. “Mom Creates Periodic Table Battleship Game To Teach Her Kids Chemistry” (huffingontpost.com)
June 23, 2015. "Periodic Table Battleship" (teachbesideme.com)