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Elemental Scrabble Mark as Favorite (3 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Elements, Periodic Table. Last updated March 25, 2020.


In this activity students will create words using element symbols in order to become more familiar with the periodic table.

Grade Level

Elementary School


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

  • Identify some common elements seen or used daily.
  • Make connections between the names and symbols of common elements from the periodic table.”
  • Recognize that some elements symbols do not match the letters in element name (ex: “Fe” for “iron”).

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • The Periodic Table
  • Elements


Teacher Preparation: 10-15 to prepare/cut card sets; minimal time if cards are prepared

Lesson: 10 minutes


  • 1 set of element cards per group (available for download)
  • Student Handout
  • 1 sample of periodic table (paper based, poster, or displayed from online source)

Teacher Notes

  • This activity was designed for use as a short bell ringer activity to use with grades 3rd - 5th.
  • At the elementary level understanding that all matter is made of particles should be instructed.
  • The 24 elements chosen for this activity are not the first 24 of the Periodic Table. They were specifically chosen based on the likelihood of student familiarity with this age of student.
  • To refresh oneself of the periodic table there are a couple of resources used for this activity:
  • I just that students are placed in small groups of 2-3 and are each given jobs in their group.
    • Recorder writes down the words created by the group.
    • Presenter will share the words formed with the class.
    • Materials manager to clean up the activity and return supplies as directed.
  • I suggest introducing this activity by first sharing the Periodic Table Song with your students.
  • When you are ready to begin, handout the student page and/or display a copy using a document camera to review directions for students.
  • All images used on the cards are from Public Domain.
  • Some possible words student might form in the Elemental Scrabble:

CaN BeAr NiNe CaP

For the Student



Elements are pure substances. The first 18 of the elements listed on the Periodic Table make up most of the matter in the Universe.


Working in small groups you will create words using element symbols. This will help you become more familiar with element names and their symbols.


  1. The Material Manager will collect the cards and place all of the cards face up, spread out among a table.
  2. You will have 10 minutes to create as many words you can by combining the element cards.
  3. The group Recorder will write the words onto the given paper.
  4. The group Presenter will share the results with the class at the end of 10 minutes.
  5. Challenge: Try to create at least one word that uses three or more element symbols!
Word Created Elements used in the Word
Example: NiNe (nine) Nickel (Ni) and Neon (Ne)