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History of the Periodic Table Video Questions Mark as Favorite (39 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Physical Properties, History, Periodic Table, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles, Chemical Properties. Last updated January 29, 2024.


In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about how the periodic table was developed and learn about those who contributed to it.

Grade Level

Elementary, Middle, and High School


By the end of this activity, students should be able to

  • Understand that the organization of the periodic table evolved over time.
  • Compare and contrast between multiple versions of the periodic table.
  • Explain how the modern version of the periodic table is organized.
  • Describe both Mendeleev’s and Moseley’s important contributions to the periodic table.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Periodic table
  • Physical properties
  • Chemical properties
  • Atomic Structure
  • Subatomic particles
  • Atomic mass
  • History of Chemistry


Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 10 minutes



  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • The History of the Periodic Table video was developed as a part of the AACT original video series, Founders of Chemistry. The entire series can be found here.
  • The running time of this video is seven minutes and forty seconds.
  • This video is intended for students to watch, and for teachers to integrate into their curriculum.
  • The student questions/answers are presented in sequential order in the video.
  • An answer key has also been provided for teacher reference.
  • Videos can be shown with the use of a classroom projector, or teachers can generate a Student Pass through their AACT membership to allow students to independently access the video.

For the Student



While watching the Founders of Chemistry Video about the History of the Periodic Table, answer the following questions:

  1. Why were the paper Alexandre-Emile Beguyer De Chancourtois wrote and the diagram he put together never widely accepted?
  2. Why did Mendeleev’s table gain traction?
  3. What entire column of elements was discovered and added to the periodic table after Mendeleev?
  4. In what order did most elements fall in the table?
  5. Who started doing experiments with an electron beam? In what year?
  6. What does the movement of an electron “filling the gap” of a displaced electron release?
  7. What did an element’s place on the periodic table actually correspond with?
  8. What two other results did Moseley’s work lead to?
  9. What happened in the 1940s in California?
  10. What element is named after Glenn Seaborg? What number is it?
  11. How did Glenn Seaborg “shape” the periodic table?