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Play Science Password!

Play Science Password! Activity

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See more activities in: Middle School, Earth & Space Science

Help improve your middle schooler’s science vocabulary by playing a variation of the game “Password”. This activity will help your child review science concepts, learn new ones, and become familiar with the definitions and examples of various concepts in science. Plus, it's fun!

What You Need:

  • Index cards
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Science textbook
  • Timer

What You Do:

  1. Use the science password word bank (below) and index cards to create playing cards for the game. On each index card write the word, definition, and words that you cannot say, all on the same side of the card. These are the playing cards you will use when it is your turn to read.
  2. Have your child create 15 similar playing cards using the index cards and his science textbook. Have him use the glossary and write one word with its definition on each playing card, then challenge him to write two logical words he cannot say when reading that term. These will be the playing cards he will use when it is his turn to read.
  3. Shuffle each of your “decks” and let the game begin! Set the timer for 30 seconds. First you pick a card from your pile. Try to get your child to guess the science term. However, you may not simply read the definition, say the word(s) itself, OR say either of the words in the “Do Not Say…” column (no fair changing the tense or form of the word!). See if he can guess the word before the 30 seconds are up. If he guesses correctly before the time is up, he gets 1 point. If you use one of the “Do Not Say…” words or the word itself while trying to get your child to say the correct word, you loose 1 point.
Example Card:
Word: friction
Definition: resistive force that opposes motion between objects
Do Not Say: force, opposes
Example Play:
You could say: slows things down, occurs between car tires and the road, using the breaks to stop a car takes advantage of this concept, there is less of this when you ice skate then when you walk on pavement, air resistance is a type of this, etc.
  1. Swap. Now it is your child’s turn to try to get you to guess one of the words from the playing cards he created. The same rules apply as stated in Step 3. Keep track of the score on the paper.
  2. Continue play until either one player reaches 10 points or there are no cards left. The player to reach 10 points first or with the greater number of points when the cards are gone wins!

 

SCIENCE PASSWORD WORD BANK

Word

Definition

Do Not Say…

atom

smallest particle that still has the properties of an element

particle, element

asteroid

small, rocky object that orbits the sun

orbit, sun

barometer

instrument that measures atmospheric pressure

pressure, instrument

climate

general weather conditions over a long period of time

weather, time

chemistry

study of matter and its changes

matter, study

density

mass per unit volume

mass, volume

ecosystem

all the living and nonliving things in a particular place

living, place

evaporation

change of phase of a liquid to a gas

phase, liquid

fossil

traces of plants or animals found in rocks

animal, rock

gas

phase of matter with no definite shape or volume

shape, matter

pH

measure of acidity of a solution

acid, measure

Richter Scale

scale that measures the magnitude of an earthquake

earthquake, measure

speed

distance traveled divided by travel time

distance, time

troposphere

Atmospheric layer closest to the Earth’s surface

atmosphere, surface

watt

unit of measurement for power

power, unit

 

Lori Stewart is a freelancer specializing in the development of science education materials. As a high school science teacher, Lori had several students place first and second in NASA's Student Involvement Program national competition.

Updated on Sep 18, 2014
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