« Return to AACT homepage

AACT Member-Only Content

You have to be an AACT member to access this content, but good news: anyone can join!

Need Help?

Mole Mischief Puzzle (1 Favorite)

ACTIVITY in Mole Concept, SI Units. Last updated September 1, 2021.


In this activity, students will analyze a collection of clues and attempt to determine the correct word that corresponds to each one. As a connection to chemistry, each of the answers contain the unit “mol” within the word. 

Grade Level

High School


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

  • Recognize the unit “mol” as the S.I. unit used to represent “mole” in chemistry. 

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Mole Concept
  • S.I. Units


Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 10 - 15 minutes


  • Student handout


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

Teacher Notes

  • This activity was originally published in the October 2003 issue of ChemMatters Magazine. It has been republished in the AACT library with permission by the editor.
  • This activity was chosen to be republished in the ChemFun section of the September 2021 issue of Chemistry Solutions in honor of National Chemistry Week (NCW).
  • In addition to the annual NCW celebration, there’s another fun chemistry celebration planned for each October. Every October 23rd, the National Mole Day Foundation kicks off its 12-hour festivities promptly at 6:02 A.M. The date and time were chosen to reflect the important chemistry concept, the mole.
  • This activity was designed to be a fun way for students to familiarize themselves with the chemistry term “mole”, as well as to understand the S.I. abbreviation for mole, as “mol”.
  • It could be used as a quick warm-up/bell-ringer activity, or shared with students who finish an assignment earlier than others. Alternatively, it can be used as a part of NCW and/or Mole Day celebrations in your classroom!
  • An answer key document has been provided for teacher reference.

For the Student



You’ll be hearing more about the famous “mole” as you study chemistry. Let’s start with its official S.I. abbreviation, mol. That triplet of letters is found in many words of a chemist’s vocabulary, and not just the science words. In this puzzle there are 14 words, each containing that triplet, mol. The word’s clue is given on the left. For help, we’ve placed the letters MOL

correctly in each word. Your task is to complete the word by filling in the remaining blanks. The first clue is done as an example. Good luck!

Clue Word
6.02 x 1023 items of a kind M O L E
Element #42 M O L _ _ _ _ _ _ _
The diprotic indicator ____ blue  _ _ _ M O L
A viscous syrup made from sugar M O L _ _ _ _ _
Smallest unit of a compound M O L _ _ _ _ _
A favorite Tex-Mex appetizer dip _ _ _ _ _ M O L _
Number of moles of solute / kg solvent M O L _ _ _ _ _
Burn and smoke without flames  _ M O L _ _ _
Has units of grams/mol (two words) M O L _ _  _ _ _ _
Raze, tear apart completely _ _ M O L _ _ _
Aluminum metal is prepared in ___ cryolite M O L _ _ _
The science that studies the universe’s origin _ _ _ M O L _ _ _
A famous novel by Daniel Defoe (two words) M O L _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
A fungus growth, especially on damp surfaces M O L _