LESSON PLAN in Periodic Table. Last updated September 27, 2018.
The AACT high school classroom resource library and multimedia collection has everything you need to put together a unit plan for your classroom: lessons, activities, labs, projects, videos, simulations, and animations. We constructed a unit plan using AACT resources that is designed to teach the Periodic Table to your students.
By the end of this unit, students should be able to:
- Understand how the periodic table is organized and classify elements by family name, group number, and period number.
- Recognize the pattern of the physical properties of the elements with relationship to period and column.
- Understand and be able to predict the trends of atomic radius, ionic radius, and ionization energy.
- Identify unknown elements based on their properties of atomic radius, malleability, conductivity, and ionization energy.
- Classify an element as a metal, nonmetal, or metalloid based on its physical and chemical properties.
- Recognize the contributions to the organization of the periodic table over time by important scientists.
- Understand that the current periodic table was developed over time based on many discoveries, models and revisions.
This lesson supports students’ understanding of
- Periodic Table
- Physical Properties
- Periodic Trends
- Atomic Radius
- Ionic Radius
- Ionization Energy
- Metallic Properties
Teacher Preparation: See individual resources
Lesson: 7–10 class periods, depending upon class level
- Refer to the materials list given with each individual activity.
- Refer to the safety instructions given for each individual activity.
- The activities shown below are listed in the order that they should be completed.
- The teacher notes, student handouts, and additional materials can be accessed on the page for each individual activity.
- Please note that most of these resources are AACT member benefits.
- Aliens Activity: Introduce the unit by having your students complete this activity. Students organize alien cards into groups and periods following trends, similar to how the periodic table is put together. The teacher can remove two cards from each student’s deck, and after they organize the cards the students can predict (draw) the missing aliens.
- History of the Periodic Table: This Founders of Chemistry video tells the story of the development of the periodic table and pays tribute to each of the major scientific contributors who made great discoveries through their efforts to best organize the elements. All of the videos in this series include student activity sheets that include questions for students to answer as they view them.
- Dmitri Mendeleev: You may also want to show your students this Founders of Chemistry video, which tells the story of Dmitri Mendeleev, who organized the periodic table, even leaving gaps to be filled in with elements that weren't yet discovered.
- Ptable.com Investigations: Your students can learn the basics about the Periodic Table by completing one or more of the online explorations with this lesson. Students will use the online periodic table, ptable.com, to investigate a number of chemistry concepts and explore information about the elements, including historical data, physical properties, periodic trends and more.
- Make a Periodic Table Activity: Use this activity to get a quick assessment of your students’ understanding of the organization of the Periodic Table. Students use imaginary elements to create a periodic table based on the known properties of those elements. The answer key is available.
- Ptable.com Investigations: Introduce Periodic Trends with the Atomic Radius Exploration activity in this lesson. The answer key is available.
- Periodic Trends: Electron Affinity, Atomic Radius, & Ionic Radius: More advanced classes may also want to use this simulation and the accompanying activity sheet. Students will focus their investigation on the electron affinity of an atom and examine the formation of an anion as well as compare the atomic radius of a neutral atom to the ionic radius of its anion. The answer key is available.
- Making Connections between Electronegativity, Molecular Shape, and Polarity: This activity shows students how the shape of a molecule is relative to its placement on the Periodic Table. This resource also utilizes Ptable.com, an interactive website that allows the user to collect data about the properties of the elements.
- Mendeleev’s Periodic Table: This activity can be used to formally or informally access your student’s understanding of periodic trends. Students will use their knowledge of Periodic Trends and a set of Mendeleev’s Cards to analyze and identify unknown elements and organize them correctly in the Periodic Table.
- Metal, Nonmetal, or Metalloid?: Finish the unit with this lab activity, which allows students to classify several samples of elements as metals, nonmetals, or metalloid based on their physical and chemical properties.
- PeriodicTable of…Mistakes: This resource is from the issue of and can be used as a classroom activity or even as an informal assessment at the end of the unit. This fun activity challenges students to find 25 errors, such as element name, symbol, placement and trends, on our Periodic Table of Mistakes. A correct version of the table and an answer key are also available with this resource.
- ChemMatters: Use The Many Looks of the Periodic Table (October 2008) article as the basis for an extension activity or project at the end of the chapter. It can also be used as a way to enhance science literacy skills.