In honor of my husband’s retirement at the end of this school year, I am sticking with the pun theme today, but in a specialized way. For the last thirty years, John has given this “test” to his chemistry classes on a day when they all need a change of pace. Some kids love it and groan loudly every time they figure one out. Others, of course, declare it to be stupid. I’m sure you know which group I would be in.

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John believes that students need to learn how to think deeply and be able to figure things out, both in the class room and in the lab–that’s how he teaches. He also understands that everyone comes at things from different angles, so he works to give every kind of mind a chance to find success. He has been loved and respected by his students, and I am very proud of him.

Back to the punitentiary … John doesn’t remember where he got this test many years ago, so I can’t credit the source. I invite you to study the Periodic Table and see if you can figure out the elements that match up with the descriptions. If you get stuck, say the element names out loud.

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Use the names of elements as synonyms or substitute for some phrases. So cesium your pen and fill in the blanks.

What doctors are for __________Policeman __________________Have went (very poor grammar) ___________________Indian funeral chant ____________________________A motto for a well-digging company _________________Get him ____________________Holmium X 0.5 = ____________Chemical Apache ____________To press a shirt ______________Directed (past tense) __________A kitchen work area with a drain ___________________A ship’s kitchen ______________The leg joint above the calf _______________________What police do to a bookie joint ___________________A cowboy’s cry after successfully riding a bronco: “I ___________________.”An amusing prisoner __________Ruler of Davy Jones’ locker _______________________A large building used to store automobiles ___________The last words of a dying man _____________________The Lone Ranger’s horse ________A tomb _____________________What is often done to stores during a riot ____________The name applied to a blond person from Sweden, Norway, or Finland ________________What do you do before you brand a steer? ___________The name of a red flower ________An officer in the army __________ (second time for this element)Someone who gives to charity ____________________ (Biblical: one who stops to help a fellow traveler)Mickey Mouse’s dog ___________A 2000-pound casket __________ (second time for this element)“___________________________ anything, but give them Arpege.”The United States _____________View by a boy whose name is Cal. __________________ (monstrous pun)What you do to steak when you barbecue it __________Cow hide used as a carpet _____________________ionFunds from mother’s sister ____________________Opposite of hot _____________________________


Curium CM or Helium HeCopper CuArgon ArBarium BaBoron BCesium CeHafnium HfIndium InIron FeLead PbZinc ZnGallium GaNeon NeRadium RaRhodium RhSilicon AiNeptunium NpCarbon XIodine ISilver AgKrypton KrLutetium LuScandium ScEuropium EuGermanium GeLutetium LuSamarium SmPlutonium PuKrypton KrPromethium PmAmericum AmCalcium CaCerium CeFlourine FAntimony SbGold Au