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Helping Students Review and Reinforce Biochemistry and Organic Compounds

Master the Information with this Organic Compounds Mix/Match Game 

It's that time of year again.  Time to teach the dreaded unit on Biochemistry!  (Insert scary music here.)

I love the phrase, "Nothing in Biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution."  I would like to add to that, "...except in the light of evolution and biochemistry."  In my mind, there is simply no way to teach cell physiology, cell division, photosynthesis, enzymatic reactions, or cellular respiration without first teaching a solid unit on biochemistry and organic compounds.

The concepts of biochemistry are difficult, and unfortunately, this is the unit that our biology students are usually faced with at the very beginning of the school year. Teaching strategies, labs, and review activities are especially important at this time. This mix/match review game will provide the review and reinforcement that you are looking for.

The set includes 4 larger cards, each with the name of one of the groups of organic compounds.  There are 75 smaller answer cards. Students must match the answer card statements to the correct group of organic compounds.

One of the things that I love best about this activity is that the game can be customized for different grade levels and ability levels.  An advanced class should use all of the cards.  A younger grade or slower-paced class should use only the answer cards that are appropriate.  Remove any answer cards that you have decided not to use.  The game can be made easy or hard based on your particular students.   It is very easy to differentiate within the same class. By placing the game pieces into small Ziplock bags, you can easily give a "customized" bag to each group of students in your class.

Once the students have completed the card sort, have them record the answer card statements on the student answer sheet.  When students write, it helps them learn and commit the information to memory.  Students can easily do this on their own notebook paper as well.  Blank cards are included so you can add additional answer card statements.

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I make these cards available to my students before school, after school, and/or during their study hall.  It is a great way to review for the unit test. Best of luck as you teach your unit on biochemistry!  Have a great school year!

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