This lesson serves as an introduction to my chemistry class where students are placed into groups, discover what a group is on the Periodic Table, learn about classroom logistics, and perform a Lava Lamp questioning activity.
Because students are preforming an experiment they use Science and Engineering Practice 3: Planning and Carrying out Investigations.
Students are also working on coming up with scientific questions so they are using Science and Engineering Practice 1: Asking Questions and Defining Problems
There are several resources used in this lesson:
The engage portion of the lesson is found on the first two slides of the PowerPoint.
This video explains how I set up groups.
To engage students in the lesson and get them prepared for the school year I assign them to seats related to the groups of the periodic table. These names include...
Once they are in their groups I have them figure out what their group name means using cards at their tables. I give each group the cards from my Periodic Table of Element Cards Deck related to their group. For example the Carbon Group gets Carbon, Silicon, Germanium, Tin, and Lead as can be seen in this picture.
The resource The Periodic Table of Element cards can be purchased multiple places including walmart.
In order to make sure that my students are understanding what a "group" is I have students share out their ideas. I do this by asking for any volunteers who think that they might have what a group is figured out and have them share out. Some examples of students responses are "A group is one of the columns" or "our cards are all together in the same vertical line". I then give a brief explanation of the idea that a group is a vertical column of elements with similar properties, and tell them that we will learn a lot more about the periodic table, elements, and groups throughout the school year.
Finally, to get my students pumped for chemistry and elements I play for them the Tom Lehrer's flash animation of the elements which is a great song/flash animation incorporating all of the elements.
After students understand the basics of the periodic table I spend some time going over the expectations for my course. I do this in several steps:
To make the class more exciting, especially that most students have been reviewing syllabi in their classes all day, I have students do a quick lab activity.
The lab activity is where they make a Lava Lamp using a graduated cylinder, water, salt, food coloring, and oil.