Reinforcing Lab Safety Rules with a Crossword Puzzle

lab safety rules

Nothing is more important than science lab safety. A safe lab allows for a healthy learning environment. Yet kids often brush it off because it’s not as “fun” as the actual experimentation. However, a crossword puzzle can help spruce up the lab safety rules while also ensuring that your students understand all of them.

Looking for ideas? Your puzzle might include one or more of the following:

  • Introduce lab safety rules
  • Reinforce lab  rules
  • Lab equipment
  • Safety and emergency procedures
  • Items found around the lab

Pro Tip: Lab safety isn’t the only science subject where puzzles augment learning. Whether you’re teaching physics principles, the periodic table, or any other subject, crossword puzzles can be helpful addition to any science classroom.

Introducing Lab Safety Rules through Crosswords

Chances are you have a set of rules readily available to your students through a document or a chart in the lab. First, thoroughly review the information with them. Then, reinforce their knowledge right away with a crossword while the knowledge is still fresh.

What to Include in your Crossword

How you format your clues and answers will depend on the needs of your lab. Mr. Kelcher, for example, decided to format all of his clues as fill-in-the-blank. This helps ensure students remembered key words above all else.

Example: Lab Keywords

Perhaps you have greater concerns about how students will handle the equipment, or whether or not they will remember the lab’s procedures in the right order. Go through procedures and tools with a crossword like this.

Example: Procedures and Tools

If students historically struggle with a particular concept, make a new crossword puzzle that focuses on that element. This will help if they’re struggling because a concept seems minor or unmemorable for some reason (but is actually quite important!).

Reinforcing Safety Rules Throughout the Year

To keep your lab safe all year round, you may want to periodically reintroduce a crossword puzzle to make sure students remember these critical guidelines. Make a new one as frequently as once a month, each quarter, or you might wait for each new semester. Revisiting lab safety rules after a holiday break can prove particularly necessary and effective.

Example: Lab Contract

For extra engagement, change the nature of the puzzle as well. Make it as a contract like this teacher did to highlight the serious nature of this information.

Example: Lab Crossword Contest

Run a classroom contest to add an element of fun to it. A selected winner can get extra credit!

Example: Lab Equiptment

Or highlight one element of lab safety rules in each crossword. This crossword, for example, focuses on the lab equipment. Another puzzle could focus on procedures. Introducing a crossword puzzle like this later in the year will give you time to assess what is and is not working in your lab.

Lab Safety Crosswords: Final Thoughts

Encourage students to learn more about lab safety rules beyond the classroom with resources like this one from the United Federation of Teachers. Whether your crosswords will count for a grade or extra credit, the most important aspect is keeping a safe lab. Achieve this by experimenting with some crossword puzzles today.

Looking for other activities? You can also create your own word searches and even bingo cards to reinforce vocab and concepts.

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