Periodic Table Bulletin Board
Lesson 6 of 6
Objective: Students will be able to build a model of the periodic table, element by element, to gain an understanding of the patterns within the table.
NGSS Standard: MS-PS1-1: Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
DCI: PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter - Substances are made of different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways.
Science & Engineering Practices: (2) Developing and Using Models
CCC: (1) Patterns, (5) Energy and Matter
The intent of this lesson is to familiarize students with the make-up and composition of the periodic table. In this case the model the students are working with is the periodic table and how it can predict chemical reactions (SP2). By knowing the structure of the periodic table students can develop a relationship with the periodic table that allows them to use it as a resource in understanding the composition of simple molecules and how the atom arrange themselves in predictable patterns (PS1.A, CCC). By building the table element by element students get a sense of where the elements belong and what patterns can be derived from the location of elements (SEP2, CCC5). This lesson helps students visualize the three types of elements on the periodic table: metals, nonmetals, semimetals/metalloids.
This lesson should help students develop a classroom culture where curiosity of scientific principles, no matter how complicated, is accepted and encouraged. Having a keen understanding of the periodic table now allows students the ability to make connections later when we discuss chemical reactions and bonding.
To begin this activity you need to create a blank periodic table on white butcher paper. I placed my blank periodic table on the front white board and had the students glue each element on the paper so that this periodic table could eventually by hung in the front office. It might be easier to staple the blank periodic table on a bulletin board and have the individual elements stapled on.
Each element square measured 3.5 inches, see Periodic Table Bulletin Board Squares. To create the blank periodic table, starting from the upper left corner: (1) draw a vertical line on the left measuring 24.5 inches (use pencil first then darken with a Sharpie Marker - don't use a Sharpie first). Then (2) measure down 10.5 inches and draw a rectangle 63 inches by 14 inches. The final rectangle (3) was drawn approximately 12 inches from the left and measured 49 inches by 7 inches. Place small spacing dots 3.5 inches both horizontally and vertically to map out the individual spaces for each element. Since this outline is going to be covered with elements it is not necessary to draw an complete outline. Providing an unfinished outline of the periodic table forces the students to understand the exact make-up of the table.
Once the blank board is set up and hung, pass out Periodic Table Bulletin Board Squares. Each student has four blank elements to work with. Assign elements to the students and explain that each element must have: 1) atomic name, 2) atomic symbol, 3) atomic number, 4) atomic mass, 5) correct background color (yellow - metals, pink - semi-metals, green - nonmetals), and 6) a colored drawing that represents that element.
TIP - the background colors were selected because those colors are available as highlighters and made for easy coloring without overwhelming the drawing process.
The students must spend 15 minutes researching their element using their Google Chromebooks before they could start designing their element.
They are provided a list of possible websites they can visit.
TIP: I didn't offer as an option open searches of the web, as these Chromebooks are still new and I have observed some students sneaking onto gaming sites. I try to keep the web searches (1) short, (2) directed, and (3) goal driven.
- Periodic Table Videos (Youtube free)
- Dynamic Periodic Table
- Photographic Periodic Table
- Chemicool Periodic Table
Each student is required to build at least one element (others could be done for extra credit). The handout Periodic Table Bulletin Board Squares allows for four elements. A completed element had to include: 1) atomic name, 2) atomic symbol, 3) atomic number, 4) atomic mass, 5) correct background color (yellow - metals, pink - semi-metals, green - nonmetals), and 6) a colored drawing that represents that element.
As they are building their periodic table they have to receive approval before they were allowed to post their element to the board. Many elements were rejected because students rushed the assignment.
If I expect my students to work hard, I also need to recognize that effort. A final student-made periodic table is hung in the office to show off the student's work.