I love the periodic table. I love the order, the stories, the trends and patterns, the people who made it. I love how it can be used. I love that it is the ultimate cheat sheet for a scientists or a student taking chemistry. I love the different types of periodic tables that exist. My love for this table is pretty evident.
It was Oregonians only (lucky me!) for PBS’s limited release of The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements in fall 2014. A national premiere is now at hand—mark your calendar for your local station’s broadcast.
During our “Periodic Table and Periodicity" unit, we take about 3 days to learn the content and another 3-4 days to practice the content (more for Chemistry 1, less for Honors). One way that I have my students review the content is by playing a board game that I recreated from an NSTA conference a few years ago.
Science is creative; it requires new ideas, new patterns, and new solutions to old problems. A deep understanding of the periodic table is the most critical knowledge in chemistry. I want my students to experience the table and conceptualize its trends in a deeper way.
In this age of scientific inquiry, molecular modeling, digital classrooms, and differentiation, I felt downright guilty about any teacher-centered time. My classroom is flipped after all. I’m not supposed to be lecturing, right?
TV and movie screens today offer us a desperate fight against crazy-fast zombies, a peek into celebrities’ lives where truth is often stranger than fiction, million-dollar game shows, and more. Can portraits of science compete?
Here’s a great project to try with your students: build a periodic table out of Lego blocks. We did this a few years ago at Spring Arbor University, working with teachers and students from Hardin Valley Academy in Tennessee. After we built our Lego Periodic Table, we used Velcro strips to hang it on a wall on the chemistry floor of the science building on campus.
Students will proceed through a pre-lab engagement activity, organize element cards based on similarities & trends, discuss trends with the class and then produce a periodic table that includes the trends discussed within the lab.
Students choose a topic and select items to incorporate into a periodic table. Students explore trends related to their own topic and relate to the trends on the actual Periodic Table of Elements.