Find inspiration from one mom's periodic table Battleship Game
A periodic table of elements Battleship game, created by blogger Karyn Tripp. (YouTube/Karyn Tripp)
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, January 28, 2016 5:51AM EST
A Utah mom's creative chemistry class is setting off a positive reaction online.
Karyn Tripp, the mother behind the "Teach Beside Me" blog, came up with an innovative way to turn the periodic table of elements into a "Battleship"-style game.
Tripp used four printed copies of the table, two file folders, and a sturdy paperclip to set up the learning activity.
To play, Tripp's 11-year-old son, Brennan, and her 8-year-old daughter, Elsie, sat opposite of each other, in front of their own periodic table of elements.
Each child secretly circled lines of three, four, or five elements, to create element battleships. Then, they went back and forth, guessing which elements made up their competitors' ships.
The first child to guess all the other player's elements, or "sink" their ships, won the game.
"If you've played 'Battleship,' it's basically the same," Tripp said in a telephone interview with CTVNews.ca from her home in Utah.
The inspiration for the chemistry game came from an earlier counting lesson, Tripp said, when she set up a similar activity using number charts.
She revived the idea this June, when her son developed an interest in chemistry.
"My oldest son, he's just very interested in science," Tripp said. "I was trying to think of a creative way to learn (chemistry), and I remembered how we'd done it with the hundreds chart and thought 'Let's try it that way.'"
Tripp said her daughter, Elsie, was initially a little nervous about pronouncing the scientific names. But after a couple rounds, the game was a hit.
"They loved it. They thought it was a lot of fun. Especially my oldest because that's his passion," she said.
Tripp said the game helped her daughter grow familiar and comfortable with the element names, and it helped encourage her son to continue learning about the subject.
In fact, Brennan was so excited about chemistry that he printed out his own version of the periodic table of elements and pinned it to his wall.
"He's actually trying to memorize it," Tripp said.
The game is one of many learning activities Tripp has invented while homeschooling her four children.
The former economics teacher says she uses games and other creative teaching methods to keep her children engaged and excited about learning.
"The more interesting you can make it and the more engaging it can be, the more they're going to want to do it," she said.
And while it's not always easy to keep her children focused and productive, Tripp says the chance to teach and learn with her children has been a rewarding experience.
"It's not perfect. It's not always easy. There are a lot of things that they struggle with and I think that's normal for any child who's learning," she said.
"But it's been really amazing … I like seeing their excitement as they learn new things and seeing their passion. It's been a pretty great experience."