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Elemental Mix-up Mark as Favorite (13 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Elements, Periodic Table. Last updated January 29, 2024.


In this activity, students will test their knowledge of the periodic table as they attempt to unscramble element names and use select letters to solve a mystery message.

Grade Level

High, Middle and Elementary School


By the end of this activity, students should be able to

  • Recognize common element names from the periodic table.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Periodic Table
  • Elements


Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 15 - 20 minutes


  • Student handout
  • Periodic table (optional: see notes below)


  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • This activity was designed to be a short problem-solving activity to help student familiarize themselves with the names of common elements on the periodic table.
  • It could be a used at the beginning of the school year with students, to gauge their prior knowledge and familiarity with element names. Alternatively it might be used during or at the end of a unit studying the periodic table.
  • This activity could be appropriate to use at a variety of grade levels. For younger students or students with little chemistry background knowledge, offering a periodic table as a resource could be a helpful option.
  • An answer key document has been provided for teacher reference.

For the Student


The letters of the element names below have been mixed up! Unscramble the letters to successfully form the name of an element. Then use each letter that has a corresponding number underneath it to reveal the mystery message (some letters in the mystery message have already been inserted for you).

chemFun Resource Image

Mystery Message: