Great way to build collaboration skills and foster conversations in a science classroom!

Appropriate for any secondary science classroom!

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Students work together to build science words from their parts with this SCIENCE VOCABULARY ACTIVITY!

Use to build relationships in the back-to-school season, or for fun any time! Also helpful to learn root words for standardized test science vocabulary.

In this activity, students will:

  • READ a brief background section about how science words are made and complete a quick check for understanding.
  • OBTAIN A CARD. Each card has either the beginning of a science word and what it means, the end of a science word and what it means, or a card with a definition.
  • MINGLE through the whole class to find the other part of their word and the definition that matches the word. This fosters conversations and collaborations as it helps students better understand the language of science.
  • RECORD all the words that were built.
  • COMPLETE A FOLLOW-UP ANALYSIS that highlights how all the words parts they heard can be recombined to make new words.
  • An additional “Going Further” fun activity is also provided.

Please Note: The words included are not necessarily vocabulary words that students will learn in science class. The point of the activity is to learn how science words are built from parts that each mean something. So, while students may not need to know the word “Nematode”, they will learn that it is a thread-like worm whose name is made from “Nema-“, meaning thread, and “-tode”, meaning like or similar to.

Teacher Notes:

  • 48 words are provided, which makes for 144 cards, so depending on your class size there is enough to play several rounds.
  • This activity does not focus on the terms prefix, suffix, and root words. These are referred to as “word parts”. The focus is on that each “word part” has a specific meaning, and they combine to make different science terms.
  • Detailed teacher notes and an answer key are provided.
  • Please note that this resource is not editable.
  • Check out more resources in the science games section of our shop!


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