Color Coding Families on the Periodic Table

This is a fun way to introduce the families of the periodic table and their properties. The students really enjoy watching the video clips from Periodic Table Videos and the experiments performed by the Chemistry Department at the University of Nottingham.

As a class, we found the location of each family, recorded the elements for each family, discussed their properties, color coded the periodic table, and discussed any patterns they noticed.

Materials

  • Google Slides (Public) – updated for 2016 with links to the YouTube videos to view an element in each family
  • Handout – (pdf) students take notes for each family and use this is a reference for further lessons
  • Periodic Table – (Updated 2016 pdf) I like to use this student version of the periodic table from Jefferson Lab for my 6th graders. I photocopy it double sided – one side stays blank while the other side is color coded. If students have binders with a clear pocket on the outside front, I ask that they place it there for quick reference and access.

This activity was featured on the following blog post: The Joy of Chemistry – A Unit in Photos a few years ago. You can read about how she used this lesson in her 3rd grade classroom as part of her Chemistry unit.

Below is a video about Sodium from Periodic Table Videos. They have a lot of great chemistry videos posted for free on their site, be sure to check them out!

Patterns of the Periodic Table: Finding Shells and Valence Electrons

Materials:

  • Google Slides – students will learn how to find the number of energy levels (shells) for elements in periods 1 – 8 and the number of valence electrons in their outer shells using the periodic table. Updated (Public link)
  • Handout – updated Shells & Valence Electrons
    • Older version: How to determine the number of valence electrons and shells using the element’s group number and period – Notes (pdf) and Slides (ppt)
  • Find that Element!” Worksheet (pdf)- Practice finding the period & group for each element

 

How to draw Lewis Structures – a step by step tutorial

Materials:

  • Updated Google Slides (Public Link) with step-by-step instructions on how to draw Lewis Structures
  • Lewis Diagrams worksheets

How to draw Bohr Diagrams – a step by step tutorial

I updated the Google Slides and worksheet for my lesson on drawing Bohr Diagrams. This lesson will walk your students through the basics on how to draw a Bohr Diagram for the first 20 elements on the periodic table. I also created a simple worksheet for students to record their drawings and do independent practice.

You can access them at:

For additional lessons related to atoms and the periodic table, please click on the tags below.

Element, Compound, or Mixture? Identify & Sort

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 12.05.24 PM
Students can practice identifying elements, compounds, and mixtures

Materials:

Different ways to use this activity:

  1. Vocabulary reinforcement
  2. Students can review the slides independently as added practice and self check.
  3. This can be a guided mini-lesson for a whole class to reinforce the concept.
  4. Students can work in pairs to sort the cards into the 3 different groups, then discuss the answers as a class. Challenge – categorize the mixtures.
  5. Give each student one of the larger cards and have them do the activity “Quiz, Quiz, Trade

 

For more lessons related to this activity, please click on the tags below.

 

 

 

 

 

Acids & Bases Venn Diagram Activity

Acids&BasesVennDiagram

Updated 4/13/2020

Distance Learning – Google Slides in Google Classroom

  1. I made a slight modification of this activity by making it an interactive Google Slide.
  2. In Google Classroom, assign the activity and make a copy for each student.
  3. Students are able to drag the text boxes (using the arrow keys worked best) into the Venn Diagram.
  4. Grade for completion or accuracy.

[Template] Acids & Bases Venn Diagram (ONLINE).jpg

Materials:

  • New Version
    • Acids & Bases Google Slides (Public)
    • Handout – print pages 3 & 4 or page 5 Acids & Bases Venn Diagram pdf
    • Glue & scissors if using as cut ‘n paste activity
    • Optional – red & blue colored pens or pencils
  • Older Versions
    • Acids & Bases Venn Diagram worksheet (pdf)
    • SmartBoard file download (link)

This is a fun activity to get students thinking about the properties of acids and bases based on their prior knowledge. Then using what they know, can they figure out the rest of the properties?

I like to do this activity as a friendly competition and see how many each pair of students can answer correctly. Before the students place items into the Venn diagram, I ask them to look at the properties and write a red “A” next to the property if they think it belongs to an acid, a blue “B” if they think it belongs to bases, and “AB” if it belongs to both categories.

Once they have completed categorizing the properties on their own, have each student share their answers with their seat partner. What was the same? What was different? Have them discuss their reasoning for each answer and try to come to a consensus. (You can add an additional step by asking partners to compare answers with another set of partners.) When they are ready, reveal each answer, one at a time, and discuss. Students will write (or glue in) each property into the Venn diagram.

Please click on the tags below to find additional lessons on Acids, Bases, and pH.

 

Science Prompts, Starters, Warm-Ups, & Do Nows

I used Google Slides to create my science prompts and students accessed the slides via Google Drive to complete for homework. They kept a marble composition notebook and wrote the questions and answers into their notebooks and we discussed each one at the start of class.

Next year, I am going to try a different approach. Some students had difficulty keeping their notebook up to date. Using a pocket folder with prongs (like this one) I am going to print 4 prompts per page and photocopy them ahead of time, essentially making a workbook with about 100 prompts on 13 double sided pages. This will help keep students more organized and have access to the information for review easily. This is on my summer list of things to do 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.01.27 AM

You can download the pdf file of the prompts (Science Prompts 2015-16 Public) I used this year with my 6th graders. Please keep in mind that many are from ScienceSpot.net and you can find her starters with answer keys sorted by category here and her Mystery Photos here – (the kids loved the mystery photo challenges!)

You can also use Activity Pages from BrainPOP.com (here is a free example) as starters or writing prompts. Almost every video has an activity page that you can download and use with your students.

Science Prompts 2015-16 Public

Additional samples of science prompts available – see the images below:

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.00.51 AMScreen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.01.06 AM

NGSS: Scientific & Engineering Practices (SEP)

If you are looking for lesson plans that cover the following NGSS Standards, you can do a search using either tags or the search box. I have tagged all of my blog entries with the corresponding SEP.

SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING PRACTICES (SEP) (Details from NSTA)

  • SEP1 – Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • SEP2 – Developing and Using Models
  • SEP3 – Planning and Carrying out Investigations
  • SEP4 – Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • SEP5 – Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
  • SEP6 – Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • SEP7 – Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • SEP8 – Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Eyewitness Videos – FREE!

I just stumbled upon this – the classic series by Eyewitness Videos is now available on YouTube for free! When I started teaching in the 90’s, we didn’t have all the amazing free online videos available at our fingertips like today and relied on…..gasp… VHS tapes. Having a collection of quality science videos in your classroom was highly coveted!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEBTfxJ13zkpZVbZTF3aukg/videos

About EWV: “Eyewitness is a natural history television series produced by BBC and DK Vision. The series is based on the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Books series of children’s books.”

Here are a few of my favorites:

 

Identifying and Balancing Chemical Reactions

Types of Chemical Reactions (Public)

Tracy has a nice lesson plan and handout on identifying chemical reactions posted on her website: http://sciencespot.net/Pages/classchem.html#chemreactions .  I modified the ppt slides she had posted for her 8th graders to use with my 6th graders as a guided lesson.

I used this lesson after we had already learned how to balance chemical equations using the hands on lesson I created and described below (also found on my Chemistry page):

Balancing Chemical Equations Activity – one of my long time favorite activities. Students will learn how to read formulas, count atoms, create and read chemical equations, and balance chemical equations using a hands on activity with color coded formulas:

We worked through the problems together and I called on students to first identify the chemical reaction and then balance the equation. After a few slides, they began to recognize the types of reactions quickly and had a good understanding of how to identify and balance the equations.

  • Click here for the ppt: Google Slides (Public)
  • to save the slides, you can select “file” then “Make a copy” or “download as”