High School Biology Memory Game

Biology Memory GameOne of the activities I like to do during the 1st week of class is a Biology Memory Game. I adapted this particular game from my mentor teacher at Merrimack Valley High School (Kristin Anderson), and have found it to be a great way to assess both student personalities and background knowledge in the subject area. High school students seem to love playing games that remind them of things they enjoyed when they were younger, and Memory is a game that fits that bill perfectly. The twist here is that they need to share something they know about each term in order to keep the match – if they aren’t able to, or their partners (or I) judge their information to be incorrect, the cards go back on the table and can be stolen by another player.

As they are playing, I circulate around, chat about terms that they are struggling with, and resolve debates about whether definitions of terms that are put forth are accurate and/or sufficiently informative. I usually offer a bonus point and a prize (candy from my prize bin) to the winner of each group – it’s amazing how competitive they can get when rewards are involved Smile.

The file I can be viewed below, or you can make a copy of the Google Doc here – feel free to make a copy for yourself. The terms are easily modifiable to suit your needs, and I have made equivalent versions for my Zoology and Physical Science Courses (happy to share those as well if there is interest – leave a comment). To make the cards, print out the file and use a photocopier to convert from one-sided to two-sided with the backings on the opposite side of the term (so they can see through the paper easily. I have laminated a set that I reuse every year (laminators are a great investment – I have had good luck with this one from Scotch).

Link to Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13NXtJMEg3rmhxz3QgvfpEjv-LjHzdrRCwlun3ZqhnzM/edit?usp=sharing

About Peter Larson

I'm a recovering academic, current high school biology/zoology teacher, blogger, and science geek with diverse interests (and experience) in the areas of zoology, anatomy, evolutionary biology, developmental biology, and exercise science. I made the fairly unusual jump from higher ed (10 years, including tenure, as a college biology professor) to teaching high school biology at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy in Northwood, NH. In addition to being a dedicated teacher, I'm also an avid distance runner - I write about running at Runblogger.com. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.