Periodic Table Battleship Parshat Vayigash

To help familiarise learners with names of various elements and their positions in relation to each other, try this fun chemistry game devised by education blogger, Karyn Tripp.

With its chemical symbols, atomic numbers and complex nomenclature, the periodic table of chemical elements can seem quite imposing to those being introduced to it for the first time.

You will need:

• 4x A4 printouts of the periodic table (see download link below for colour and b/w versions)

• Two A4 file folders (we used cardboard and tape)

• 1x jumbo paperclip (ideally as large as possible)

Setting up:

• To make the screen, lay the folders on a surface so that their spines are flush together, open the covers so that they’re both positioned at 90° and use the paper clip to fasten them together.

• Hook two of the periodic table printouts under the same paperclip either side of your screen so that they’re back to back. Place the other two printouts immediately beneath, inside the folder. You might want to laminate the printouts so that they can be re-used.

How to play:

• Both players position their ships by drawing circles (we used coloured clay) around vertical or horizontal blocks of 2, 3, 4 and 5 elements on their lower table printouts. At the start of the game both players have 5 ships each, as follows:

1x 2 elements (patrol boat)

2x 3 elements (submarine)

1x 4 elements (battleship)

1x 5 elements (aircraft carrier)

Ships can be placed adjacent to each other, but they cannot occupy the same elements.

• Flip a coin to decide who goes first. The players then take turns firing ‘shots’ by calling out the element they wish to target

(If players struggle with reading out the names of elements, they can use the letters and numbers at the sides to call out co-ordinates).

• The opposing player must declare whether the shot has landed in an empty element (‘Miss!’) or an element occupied by one of their ships (‘Hit!’). Each time they fire a shot, the players note whether it’s a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’ on their upper table printouts.

• If all the elements occupied by a ship are hit, the ship is sunk. The first player to sink all of their opponent’s ships wins the game.

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