Atoms By The Numbers Game


Create a game using these cards to reinforce foundational concepts of introductory chemistry. Give your students a fact about an atomic element and have them figure out the remaining facts. Use your creativity and have fun studying chemistry!  

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These game cards can be used in many ways to help your students learn basic chemistry facts about the elements of the Periodic Table. Each card contains blank fields for a variety of information about an element. You can choose to provide any piece of the information and then have the student figure out the remaining facts. For example, you could provide the atomic number, atomic mass unit, and atomic charge (for an ion) and have the student give you the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Or you could do the opposite and provide the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons (or the name or Periodic Table symbol) and have them give you the atomic number, and the amu. You can assign the pieces of information, have them draw slips of paper that contain pieces of information, or use a Jeopardy-style board to award points for various pieces of information. There are so many possibilities! A quick review of how to calculate these basic facts: The number of PROTONS is equal to the atomic number. The atomic mass unit is the combination of protons and neutrons in an atom. To figure the number of NEUTRONS, subtract the number of protons from the atomic mass unit. If an atom shows a positive or negative atomic charge, it is called an ion. If it gains electrons, it will have a negative charge (anion); if it loses electrons, it will have a positive charge (cation). In a neutral atom, the number of protons and electrons is the same. Therefore, to figure out the number of ELECTRONS in an ion, either add or subtract the given number to the number of protons (add for a negative charge; subtract for a positive charge). Atoms are assumed to be neutral so if you don’t want to test your students’ ability to calculate number of electrons for ions, then you don’t have to use this field. *Note that amu has been rounded to the nearest whole number.  

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