Sunday, January 29, 2017

Tips and Tools to TEACH the Periodic Table


Which elements are metals? Which elements are nonmetals? Where are the metalloids located on the periodic table? Is sodium an alkali or alkaline earth metal? Is Neon a halogen or noble gas? Is Uranium a part of the lanthanide or actinide series? These are essential questions that your students will be able to answer after completing a few engaging activities to learn about the arrangement of the periodic table.

1) Color To Learn-Give your students a blank periodic and have them color the different groupings to learn about the arrangement of elements on the periodic table. If your students respond well to teacher-centered lessons,  provide the instruction and allow your students to color while you do. Provide a more student-centered method of instruction by giving the group names and letting your students explore to find their location on the periodic table.
The Periodic Table Coloring
 2) Color More-My students loved this activity.  It was a Color by Element lesson. They got to practice using the periodic table while creating something as they learned. To encourage my students even more to do their best, I made it a competition to make their poster look amazing!   

Color By Element Poster
3) Large Class Project-Although group work is important, as we get close to the assessment phase of any lesson, it is important that students be able to complete practice as an individual.  With this assignment, the students get to work individually on a task that is used to create something amazing as a class.  Students individually show their understanding of the periodic table arrangement by creating a periodic table tile from a given template.  Based on the characteristics of the element that they choose, they design a superhero or villain and represent them on the periodic table tile with other distinguishing properties of the element.  The individual tiles are laminated and we use them to create a large, class periodic table that we put up in the hallway for decoration.  Your students will feel accomplished and your administrators will love seeing the student work.

Element Symbols Coloring Pages
4) Assess-By this point, your students should be experts.  So, how about you assess with something fun?  Try a scavenger hunt, a domino review, a puzzle, a maze, or a coloring worksheet (that's if your students are not tired of coloring at this point).  You should see success with their understanding.  But on the other hand, if there is a concept that they don't understand, let the activity show you where they are stuck.  If needed, re-teach then re-assess with one of the other engaging activities.