In this lesson students are introduced to the Periodic Table as a way to organize elements. Although students should have seen the periodic table at the middle school level I have found that most of my students are not familiar with the different components of the table.
Students are taking notes while simultaneously coloring in a periodic table to reinforce the different components of the table. Additionally, as students learn about metals, non-metals, and metalloids they are given a chance to examine some common elements and characterize them.
Within this lesson there are several resources I use.
I begin this lesson by having students think about why there is a periodic table. This is located on the first slide of the PowerPoint.
After giving students a minute to think on their own I have them share with their partners at their table for a few minutes. I then call on groups to share out their thoughts and make sure to repeat their ideas so the whole class to hear.
After groups have shared out I tell the class, "The goal of the periodic table is to help organize the elements so that we can better understand their properties and predict their behavior."
I then play the Tom Lehrer video of the elements either through the flash animation or through you tube.
When I introduce the material for this section I present a Power Point while students fill in a Notes Graphic Organizer and color in a Periodic Table. The Periodic Table I use is the same one from the California Standards Test.
I start the PowerPoint on Slide 3 with the history of the Periodic Table and have students only fill in a summary at the end of the slide.
I then go through each of the important parts of the Periodic Table including atomic number, atomic mass, symbol, groups, periods, transition metals, lanthanides, actinides, metals, non-metals, metalloids, and groups with special names.
When I go through properties of metals, non-metals, and metalloids I use various examples.
While I explain each of these concepts students fill in notes on their Graphic Organizer notes papers as well as fill in the concepts on their new "Pretty Periodic Table". On the PowerPoint I have pictures of how I want students to draw on their Periodic Table. This pictures shows a final product of a Colored-in Periodic Table.
As a way to allow students to synthesize the material we covered in the notes I have them perform an activity where they record information about four different elements (Carbon, Tin, Silicon, and Lead). I present the activity as the last slide (Slide 18) of the PowerPoint.
I give each group a bag of elements that contains a small petri dish with a sample of each of the four elements. This picture shows how I give the elements to students.
I expect students to fill in information regarding the four elements at the bottom of their notes. The information they records includes the symbol, group, row, atomic number, atomic mass, and whether the element is a metal, non-metal, or metalloid. Additionally I have them write down the properties of the sample that coincide with it being a metal, non-metal or metalloid.
Students usually say that...
As I walk around the classroom I make sure that students are not just saying that the elements are metals, non-metals, or metalloids because of their position (to the left, right, or on the Metalloid Staircase). This example of student work shows how the student mostly put how he determined that the element was a metal, non-metal, or metalloid based on location rather than properties.
For the evaluation section of this lesson I have students perform homework which has them review the components of the Periodic Table that we learned in class.
When I assign the homework I encourage students to use their notes and Pretty Periodic Table to help them, but remind them that they will not be able to use the Pretty Periodic Table on their quizzes or exams.
Additionally, some students do not see that they are supposed to color in the periodic table at the top of the homework so I make sure to point out to them to fill it in.
I stamp the homework for completion the next day and go over using the answer key.
The most common mistakes that students make on the homework is not writing in the special name for groups and mixing up the atomic number and mass. I make sure to remind them that there is a key on their periodic table to refer to if they forget which number is which. Additionally I remind them that the atomic number is always the smaller of the two numbers.