In this project, students will “adopt” an element and create a baby book about their “new baby” while they research and learn about the element.
Middle or high school
By the end of this project, students should be able to
- understand basic concepts and structure of the Periodic Table.
- determine the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons for an element.
- draw a Bohr Model of a given element.
- understand that elements are arranged in groups/families and that the elements in these groups/families have similar electron configurations and properties.
- Periodic Table
- Atomic Structure
Teacher Preparation: 15 minutes
Lesson: 1-2 classes
- student handout of directions
- Periodic Table for each student
- Laptops/iPad (internet access)
- construction paper/paper
- tape/glue sticks
No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.
- Have students select an element from between #2 (He) and #20 (Ca). This will make it easier to keep track of students. There will obviously be some repetition with multiple students selecting the same element, but each book should be an original, individual creation, so they will all look different from each other.
- Students who choose an element from Group 1A, should know that they do not include Hydrogen (H) in their “family portrait” since it is not an alkali metal.
- Allow students plenty of choice on how to draw the “baby picture” and the “family portrait.” I allow them to use whatever idea they have to represent the body/bodies as long as they have the correct numbers in the picture(s).
- For page 1 of the book, make sure to stress to students that they want to write this as if they are writing a story about their “baby” or as if they were writing a letter to their “baby.”
- For the poem/song/rap, you can be as flexible as you want with how students complete this section. I have students consult with our English/Language Arts staff for ideas and help if needed.
- For page 7 on how much the “child” will earn in its lifetime, I stress to students that I am looking for how much their “child” is worth as the element that it is, not just writing a random number. Have students actually look up the prices of elements online. They could talk about how much the element is worth on the open market, they could discuss how much a lifetime supply of the element is worth (depending on the element chosen), or they can look at the cost of the element within the products it is used in around the world.
- Some teachers may want to allow students to work in partners for this project.
- Teachers may want to create additional requirements for the book depending on the level of the students.
- Website suggestions are included on the student handout.
Connect to Reading
Students will be conducting research in order to answer questions about the element they adopt.
Connect to Writing
Students will be writing as part of the assignment. They will be creating a narrative story as well as a poem/song/rap about their “baby.”
Connect to Social Studies
Students will be researching the history of their element as well as the uses and value of their element.
For the Student
In this project you will adopt an element from the periodic table. Whatever element you choose has to have an atomic number from 2 – 20. As a proud new parent of your element, you will create a baby book to remember the stages of your element’s life. I will allow you time to use the computers to research your element and time in class to work on the book itself.
You can use the following sources of information:
- Websites at the bottom of this page to help your search.
- Periodic Table
- Encyclopedias/Merck Index
You can create your baby books by hand, or using the computer. It is optional. Be creative and have fun with the design of your baby book. Remember, you are capturing the moments in your baby’s life that you want to keep forever.
- Cover page – 5 points
- Name of element and your name
- Decorative cover
- Page 1 – 30 points
- This should be written in paragraph form.
- Create a narrative about your baby including:
- Name of element (give your element a first name)
- Nickname of element (symbol)
- Birth date (date element was discovered)
- Birth weight (Atomic mass)
- Race (type of element)
- Attending physician (discoverer)
- Gender (state of matter at room temperature)
- Place of birth (country of discovery)
- Personality (emotions: state of matter, boiling point & melting point)
- Page 2 – 5 points
- Fill out the birth certificate. You, being the parent, must sign it.
- You need to include: Baby’s name, birth date, parents, country of origin and race.
- Page 3 – 10 points
- Picture of element
- Use # of protons as body
- Use # of neutrons as legs
- Use # of electrons as arms
- Atomic number as head
- Picture of element
- Page 4 – 15 points
- Write a poem/song/rap about the element.
- Page 5 – 15 points
- Draw picture of all family members, like on page 3.
- Family name (family name and group number)
- Address (period & discoverer’s last name + drive, lane, circle, court, road or way)
- Brothers and sisters (names of family members)
- Page 6 – 5 points
- Bohr model of element
- Page 7 – 15 points
- Career of element (what your element will become when it grows up)
- Picture of career
- How much money she/he will make in their lifetime
You must complete ALL requirements for the baby book!