Elements and the Periodic Table

How to Teach Periodic Table, Elements and the Periodic Table

Elements and the Periodic Table Lab

There are about 110 elements and 91 of them are found in nature.  The rest have been created in laboratories.  The elements are organized into metals and nonmetals.  Most of the elements on the periodic are metals.  The staircase is the dividing line between the metals and nonmetals.  Any elements touching the staircase are called semimetals or metalloids.

  • Nonmetals - right of the staircase - are found in the upper right side of the periodic table. They do not conduct heat or electricity.
  • Metals - left of the staircase - are great conductors of heat and electricity. Metals are usually shiny and malleable (able to bend easily).
  • Semimetals/Metalloids -touching the staircase - have properties of both metals and nonmetals.

The columns (up and down) in the periodic table are called groupsAll members of the same group have similar properties.  Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, and Fr are all in group 1 and therefore, they all have similar properties.

  • Elements in group 1 are called ALKALI METALS Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, and Fr.
  • Elements in group 2 are called ALKALINE EARTH METALS Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, & Ra.
  • Elements in group 7 are called HALOGENS, F, Fluorine, is the first member of this group.
  • Elements in group 8 (group farthest to the right) are called NOBLE GASES. These gases are unreactive.  They do not like to react or will not react with other elements under normal conditions.
  • The elements between groups 2 and 3 are called the TRANSITION METALS. Sc, Ti, V,…Cu and Zn are just a few of the transition metals.

The LANTHANIDES and the ACTINIDES or organized in rows (left to right), not columns.  They are found (at the bottom of the periodic table in their two rows) in the 6th and 7th periods.  Actinides are the elements at the very bottom and Lathanides are on top of them.

Elements and the Periodic Table, how to teach periodic table, how to teach the periodic table

Periodic Table Lab Procedure:

Task 1:

  • On your periodic table clearly label, the alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, the halogens, and the noble gases.
  • Label the lanthanides, actinides, and transition metals.

Task 2

Use colored pencils to do the following.  Be sure to color lightly.

    • Leave hydrogen WHITE.
    • Color all the alkali metals RED.
    • Color all the transition metals YELLOW.
    • Color all the alkaline earth metals GREEN.
    • Color all the non-metals PINK.
    • Color all the halogens PURPLE. (Color OVER half of the pink.)
    • Color all the noble gases ROYAL BLUE. (Color OVER half of the pink.)
    • Color the lanthanide and actinide series BROWN.
    • Color just the CORNERS all the elements that are gases BLACK.
    • Find the two elements that are liquids, and color their corners DARK BLUE, and circle the name in DARK BLUE.
    • Make the “staircase” between the metals and non-metals a dark BLACK line.
    • Color the metalloids ORANGE. Leave any other metals left over WHITE.
    • Make a key for the colors somewhere on your periodic table.

Elements and the Periodic Table, how to teach periodic table, how to teach the periodic table

The Elements and the Periodic Table Activity:

Students record their predictions and results of the lab activity. Once the activity is finished, discuss the lab activity and answer post-lab questions.

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Students must come up with a unanimous answer for each question. Discussing the answers usually, results in some excellent dialogue on this topic.

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