Science games KS3 – Escape an imaginary island

What's included?

PDF lesson plan

Key Stage



Years 7-9


In this science games KS3 lesson plan you’ll challenge your students to a thrilling series of fights for survival. They’ll need all their scientific skills to emerge victorious…

Science games KS3

This science games KS3 lesson is a team survival game. You can play it over a number of sessions. Challenge students to overcome a series of tasks, experiments and contests to escape ‘the island’.

Students collect points for each challenge they complete successfully. The team with the most points wins the contest.

Every survival technique is based on scientific fact and practical application. The idea of going back to the wild and surviving excites and enthuses students. It encourages them to apply their scientific knowledge and understanding to get the most out of the great outdoors.

Why teach this?

This science games KS3 lesson taps into the popularity of TV programmes featuring extreme survival. Teams of competing students will enjoy a range of physics, chemistry and biology survival challenges that will require skilful application of their science knowledge.

Example challenge

One of the biggest challenges to survival is keeping warm. When the sun goes down temperatures will drop and without adequate warmth you risk hypothermia. The challenge is in two parts:

1. To model effective protection against the cold by building a shelter to insulate a plastic bottle full of warm water.

2. To successfully light a fire without matches.

It would be difficult to build full-size shelters in a lesson, so scale the activity down by challenging your teams to build a shelter to house a ‘plastic bottle man’. The plastic bottle will contain warm water and students should create a shelter for the bottle to ‘sleep in’ that will insulate the bottle against heat loss.

Dr Joanna L. Rhodes M.Chem, D.Phil, MRSC is a teacher of science at Shelley College, Huddersfield.

Science games KS3 lesson plan
Science games KS3 – Escape an imaginary island

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