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"It's a Phase" Puzzles Mark as Favorite (1 Favorite)

ACTIVITY in Phase Changes, Heat, Specific Heat, Intermolecular Forces. Last updated January 29, 2024.


In this activity, students will complete either a crossword puzzle or a word search puzzle for common vocabulary terms related to the topics of phase changes and heat transfer. This activity provides an opportunity for students to increase their familiarity with the terms that they will be expected to use when learning about thermochemistry.

Grade Level

High School


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

  • Correctly identify the name of common vocabulary terms related to the topic of thermochemistry.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Thermochemistry
  • Heat
  • States of Matter
  • Phase Changes


Teacher Preparation: 5 minutes

Lesson: 20-30 minutes (depending on puzzle choice)


  • Copies of the Crossword puzzle or Word Search puzzle


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

Teacher Notes

  • This activity includes two puzzle options, a crossword puzzle and a word search puzzle.
  • A teacher may wish to choose the type of puzzle that is most appropriate for their students.
  • Each puzzle consists of the same 28 thermochemistry clues (question/statement) and vocabulary words.
  • In order to complete a puzzle, students will first have to answer a question or complete a statement with the proper vocabulary term.
  • Depending on the level of chemistry you teach, you may want to provide a word bank to your students.
  • Both puzzles were generated using this free software from Puzzle Maker.
  • The following vocabulary terms are included in the puzzles:
Vocabulary Term Question/Statement
Malleability This is the metallic property that is the ability to be hammered into sheets.
London Dispersion The intermolecular force that depends only upon the size (number of electrons) of a molecule. (two words)
Amorphous Glass is this type of solid.<
Delocalized Metallic Bonds have this type of electrons.
Kinetic Molecular This theory is based on the idea that particles of matter are always in motion (two words)
Diffusion What is the mixing of particles of two substances due to their random motion?
Solid This type of substance has a definite shape and volume.
Electrostatic What type of attraction exists between ions in a lattice?
Vaporization The phase change that is a liquid to a gas at the regular boiling point.
Surface Tension Force that pulls adjacent parts of a liquid’s surface together. (two words)
Fluid A substance that can flow and take the shape of its container.
Hydrogen Bond The intermolecular force between a hydrogen atoms in a covalent molecule and a nitrogen, oxygen or fluorine atom in another molecule. (two words)
Ideal Gas Hypothetical gas that perfectly fits all assumptions of about gas behavior. (two words)
Luster The property that describes metallic “shine”.
Evaporation This happens when a substances changes from a liquid to a gas below the regular boiling point.
Ductility The property that describes a metal’s ability to be drawn into a wire.
Dipole dipole The intermolecular force that exists in all polar molecules. (two words)
Liquid The phase with definite volume that takes the shape of its container.
Elastic The type of collisions in gases in which there is no net loss of total kinetic energy.
Temperature A measure of a substances kinetic energy (you measure it with a thermometer!)
Crystalline Solids with regular, ordered structures
Effusion The escape of a gas through a pinhole (not diffusion…it’s a close friend!!)
Freezing The phase change that involve changing from a liquid to a solid.
Gas The type of substance that takes the shape and volume of its container.
Heat capacity The property that describes the heat needed to raise the temperature of a substance. (two words)
Joule A unit of heat in chemistry.
Celsius The standard unit of temperature used in chemistry.
Kelvin The “absolute” standard unit of temperature used in chemistry.

For the Student