## Periodic Scrambled Maze#07

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Looking for lesson plan activities and resources to engage students in a fun, challenging and interactive way? This periodic table of elements word maze puzzle activates students' critical thinking and problem solving skills. List of 20 periodic elements' letter paths create an intricate maze like structure within the grid, due to letter paths crossing. Letters in the word clues travel: right, left, up, down, and diagonally. To solve the puzzle, letters first need to be unscrambled.

Solve the puzzle:
1. REARRANGE the letters to reveal words hidden in the grid. To support ease of solving the puzzle record the correct spelling.
2. LOCATE the circled letter (in this case, the letter |F|). This is where the maze starts.
2. TRACE the letter path of the first word. Remember that letter paths travel in all 8 directions, so the word paths will cross and intersect!
3. Word paths track continuously from beginning to end, one word after the other.
4. Students ENGAGE critical thinking and problem solving skills to determine the next word, based on letter clues and the number of words starting with the same letter!
5. TRACK progress by checking off the word clues as they are found

Resource ideas:
1. ENCOURAGE creativity: provide students with blank word search grids, located here: blank word search grids. Have them CREATE unique word search puzzles to share with others to solve. Students decide from the table of periodic elements which, and how many, words to include.
2. CHALLENGE students to create other puzzle types: cryptolists, crosswords, freeform and crosspatch puzzles, cryptograms. Students can encode the cryptogram using either: 1) a letter for letter substitution, or 2) an alphanumeric substitution.
3. ENGAGE students' problem solving strategies: get them to ORGANIZE list of elements by: 1) stability or instability of elemental isotopes, 2) toxicity levels (ordered from least to most, or most to least), 3) atomic number/weight/mass, 4) period, 5) group, 6) ancient/modern, 7) any other category you can think of.

Benefits of solving puzzles:
1. activates problem solving strategies
2. engages critical thinking skills
3. engages the brain