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.
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!
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)
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.
Note: I modified this lesson to add a hands-on component with the addition of task cards that students can sort at their desks. I use this lesson as a group work activity to introduce Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures.
Each group will have one set of task cards and one set of ECM? cards to hold up.
Students will sort the items pictured into 4 columns: Elements, Compounds, Mixtures, and “?”. (The “?” category is a temporary place holder for students to discuss further within their group, all items should be sorted before answers are revealed)
Once all the groups have had a chance to discuss and sort the items, we will go over the answers as a class.
Using the ppt, show the first item (Rocks). Ask each group to choose one of the E,C, or M cards.
Have them place the “?” in front of their answer. (this prevents the other groups from seeing their answer) A spokesperson for each group will stand up and hold the ECM? cards.
Ask all the groups to reveal their answer at the same time. Compare answers & discuss.
Reveal the answer and have students record the results in their notes.
If needed, have students move the card to the correct category on their desk, too.
For fun, I award a point to each group that has a correct answer, the kids enjoy a little friendly competition :).