Elements of an educational board game

Element Cycles: An Environmental Chemistry Board Game

Abstract ImageGraham High School, Graham, Texas 76450, United States

Department of Chemistry, Geosciences, and Environmental Science, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas 76402, United States

J. Chem. Educ., 2011, 88 (8), pp 1112–1115

DOI: 10.1021/ed100576a



“Element Cycles” is an activity designed to reinforce correlation of essential elements and their different forms in the ecosystem. Students are assigned essential elements to research as homework, then share results, and construct game boards with four ecosphere sections: geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (life). The outside track is marked with essential elements, and “transition cards” move elements between ecosystem sections. Students play the game, individually or in teams, to reinforce understanding of the biogeochemical cycles. As players proceed through the ecosystem, they are shunted randomly between sections and must answer questions about the elements. The winner is the first student to successfully pass through the entire ecosystem. The game can be tailored to different grade levels by varying card complexity and game-board terminology. This game format is also adaptable to other chemical concepts. Cost for one game setup is less than . Average time required to complete one game is about 12 min.Cover Image One class period is required for Internet research (if done in class), and one period is needed to share results and construct gameboards and cards. Alternatively, the teacher can construct the materials and only one class period is used for the activity.

Citing Articles

Citation data is made available by participants in CrossRef's Cited-by Linking service. For a more comprehensive list of citations to this article, users are encouraged to perform a search in SciFinder.

This article has been cited by 2 ACS Journal articles (2 most recent appear below).

M. Araceli Calvo Pascual

Journal of Chemical Education2014 91 (5), 757-759

Using Product Content Labels To Engage Students in Learning Chemical Nomenclature

This communication describes an activity to encourage learning chemistry nomenclature in which students use cameras (including readily available cellphone cameras) to photograph and then evaluate consumer product content labels, linking classroom ...

Michael L. Eastwood

Journal of Chemical Education2013 90 (8), 1038-1041

Fastest Fingers: A Molecule-Building Game for Teaching Organic Chemistry

Chemistry educators are constantly searching for new ways to engage their students in the classroom. Fastest Fingers is a team-based activity in which students race to solve an organic chemistry problem and then build the answer using a modeling kit.

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