Science Domino Reviews – A Surefire Method to Motivate Students

I’m always trying to find different ways to review important science vocabulary and key concepts for a unit in my classroom.  Worksheets are good, but they are hardly exciting.  One of the methods I like to use are science domino reviews.

My students like that it is more interactive because they can work in pairs or small groups.  I’ve found that it’s a great activity to keep my students engaged and it allows me the chance to address any misconceptions as they work together through the review.

Domino reviews are printable activities that contain a set of “domino pieces”.  Each domino is printed with a different question, definition, or vocabulary term that matches up with another domino within the set.

I like to print out multiple sets of the domino pieces on different colored cardstock so I can laminate and cut them out ahead of time.  The different colored paper makes my life easier down the road when a student inevitably drops a domino piece on the floor.  I can immediately find the set it belongs to just by matching up the color.

After I cut out the domino pieces, I place each set in a baggie to keep them organized and easy for me to distribute to my student groups.  I prefer to cut them out myself because it drives me crazy if the edges aren’t straight, but you can let your students cut them out for you if you like to live on the wild side.

Although cutting and laminating the sets requires more prep time for me up front, I like that they look nice and neat and ready to go.  Plus they’re more durable so I can use them over and over again in the future.

So how does a domino review work?

I like to have my students work in groups with their table mates.  I hand out a different colored set of domino pieces to each group.  Students can spread the pieces out on the table to work together or they may choose to evenly distribute the dominoes to each to other and play as more of a game.

Each domino is divided into two parts: the left side will contain a question, definition, or vocabulary term and the right side will contain a different question, definition, or vocabulary term.

The goal is to have students successfully connect the dominoes in order to match them correctly.

To start the game, students must find the domino that has the word START on the left side.  They will place this piece down in the center of the table.  On the right side of this domino there will be a question, definition, or vocabulary term.

Students will need to search through the other domino pieces in order to find the domino that has the matching answer.  Once they find a match, they will place the domino pieces end to end in order to connect them.

Students will continue matching up the domino pieces and placing them end to end.  They can connect the domino pieces in any pattern they would like.

Students can keep the pieces in a long straight chain or they can snake the pieces around the table.  As long as the correct ends are touching, the pattern doesn’t matter.

If they have successfully matched up the domino pieces, students should end with the last domino that says STOP.

Once students have completed the review activity, I have them record their answers on their student answer sheet.  The answer sheet contains the question, definition, or vocabulary term that was on the right side of each domino piece.  Students write down what they believe the matching answer is for each domino.

You can have students record their answers during the activity as they match each domino piece, but I prefer to have them write them down after the activity just in case they need to move any pieces around.

Domino reviews are a great alternative to any normal review worksheet.  I like to use them in my classroom for end of unit reviews.  They’re also a great tool for added classroom practice and after school tutorials.  If you already have them cut and laminated, they’re also perfect for a substitute when you’re absent.  I absolutely love the flexibility of this activity!

If you would like to give domino reviews a try in your classroom, you can click HERE to check out our 28 set Science Domino Review Bundle.  This bundle covers a wide variety of topics for you to use within your science units and the individual sets are also available for purchase separately.  Each set comes with directions on how to play the review game, the domino pieces, student answer sheet, teacher answer key, and even an editable domino template so you can add your own questions, definitions, or vocabulary terms.

Please comment below and let me know how you like to use domino reviews in your classroom!

Thanks for reading!


More from the blog...

Hello everyone! We are Scott and Natalie of The Science Duo. We have 21 years of combined experience in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Science. Natalie has a BS in Geology from Stephen F. Austin University and Scott has a BS in Biology from Southern Nazarene University. You could say that we are pretty big science nerds. We now focus full time on creating interactive and engaging resources for middle school classrooms.

We strive to display our passion of science through highly engaging and differentiated lessons. We feel it is important to get students up and moving and actively participating every day. Most important of all, school should be a safe environment in which all students are respected and appreciated.

9 FREE Weeks of Warm-Ups!


Connect with us to receive a packet of warm-up activities completely free.

We won't send you spam...ever! Powered by ConvertKit