## Periodic Scrambled Maze#09

()

Are you an educator looking for fun, challenging and interactive lesson plan activities/resources for academic chemistry? Here is a periodic table of elements word maze puzzle to activate students' critical thinking and problem solving skills. Together, the list of 20 periodic elements' letter paths create an intricate maze-like structure within the grid, due to letter paths crossing each other. Letters in the word clues travel in all 8 directions: vertically, horizontally, forwards, backwards, diagonally.

Solve the puzzle:
-First, students need to REARRANGE the letters to reveal words hidden in the grid. Record the correct spelling.
-Next, LOCATE the circled letter (letter |O|). This is the starting point for the maze.
-Then, TRACE the letter path of the first word. Remember that letter paths travel in all 8 directions, and the word paths intersect!
-Remember that word paths track continuously from beginning to end, one word after the other.
-Students ENGAGE critical thinking and problem solving skills to determine the next word, based on unscrambled letter clues and the number of words starting with the same letter!
-Finally, TRACK progress by checking off the word clues as they are found.

Resource ideas:
1. ENCOURAGE creativity: provide students with blank word search grids, found here: blank word search grids. Have them CREATE unique word search puzzles to share with others. Students can 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, scrambled letters puzzle lists, cryptograms. Students can encode the cryptogram and cryptolists using either: 1) a letter for letter substitution, or 2) an alphanumeric substitution.
3. ENGAGE students' critical thinking skills by having them ORGANIZE list of elements by: 1) stability/instability of elemental isotopes, 2) toxicity levels (ordered from least to most/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 including puzzles in the classroom:
1. activates problem solving strategies
2. engages critical thinking skills
3. engages the brain
4. fosters independent and self-directed learners
5. supports brain health