The Periodic Table - Flipped

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SWBAT identify the organizational structures of the periodic table.

Big Idea

In this lesson students will review the history of the periodic table of elements using an online interactive activity.


5 minutes

As the students enter the room, they are given a note card.  Some of the note cards include scenarios while either physical change or chemical change are written on the other cards.  Students must first find a partner who has a card that matches theirs.  For instance, cutting a piece of toast would be a physical change.  Then the students must find the other set of partners.  For instance, the cutting toast set of partners would then become partners with the burning toast partner set.  Once the students are in groups of four, they work together to create a written explanation for why they labeled the physical change and chemical change.  This activity reinforces the content from the previous lesson and serves as a formative assessment informing me of how well the students retained the information from the previous class and calling my attention to areas we may need to review.

This portion of the review, as well as the physical and chemical changes quiz in the Explore section, meet NGSS MS-PS1-2 in which students determine whether or not a chemical reaction has taken place.


10 minutes

Prior to this lesson, students will have viewed this video and taken Cornell notes about its contents.

We review the periodic table flipped notes briefly as a class.  I use a PowerPoint to review the information from the video with the students.  I highlight key concepts for the students regarding the topic as well as review the correct answers for their flipped notes review.

During the review I am careful to point out areas in which the students have difficulty with the concepts presented.  For instance, several students have difficulty distinguishing between periods and groups.  As a class, we work together to develop a mnemonic to help the students better remember and understand the differences between the two.

This review of the notes addresses NGSS SP2 when using the periodic table as a model.  The NGSS cross cutting concept of patterns is also addressed as students identify the patterns in the periodic table.  The primary purpose of this lesson is to help students understand the format of the period table and the reasoning behind its layout.  This lesson also helps prepare the students for high school chemistry and high school NGSS HS-PS1.


20 minutes

After our review of the basic information regarding the periodic table, the students work individually, first to complete an online quiz reviewing physical and chemical changes.  The students then work at their own pace on an interactive through Annenberg Learner.  

I provide the students with step by step instructions on how to complete these activities and as the students have questions, I refer them back to the directions rather than directly answering their questions.  This helps the students develop responsibility for their learning and begins to diminish their reliance upon me to actively direct their activities.  If the students have questions and the answers are not on the directions, I help them arrive at the correct outcomes.  This is a student example of the completed activity, which the students turn in online using

While the students are working, I pull small groups of students to the side of the room to review sections of the previous lessons as a way to help get everyone on the same page.  I am also able to address specific student misconceptions regarding the periodic table because I read through their notes reviews the day before.  Students who finish the online activities early work on finishing their flipped notes for the unit.

Wrap up

5 minutes

At the end of the lesson, I lead the students in a discussion of the activity.  We discuss the physical and chemical changes activity.  The students are especially interested in discussing the questions they missed and hearing their classmates explain the correct answers.  We also review the period table and discuss the difference between periods and groups.  This serves as a way to summarize the day's lesson and help students remember key elements of the lesson.