Which Element Am I? (4 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Physical Properties, Elements, History, Periodic Table, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles. Last updated January 22, 2019.


Summary

In this activity, students will be challenged by a list of clues that describe 50 different elements from the periodic table. Using their own knowledge, or the help of the internet students will determine the identity of each element based on the clue provided.

Grade Level

High School

Objectives

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

  • Identify elements on the periodic table based on information about their physical properties.
  • Understand that every element has distinguishing characteristics that make it unique.
  • Differentiate between groups and periods on the periodic table as well as identify elements that belong to a particular family of elements.
  • Use information about atomic structure to identify an element.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Periodic Table
  • Elements
  • Physical Properties
  • History
  • Atomic Structure
  • Atomic Mass
  • Subatomic Particles

Time:

Teacher Preparation: Minimal

Lesson: 45 minutes

Materials

  • Student Handout
  • Periodic Table
  • Text Book (optional)
  • Internet (optional)

Safety

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

Teacher Notes

  • Many of these questions can be solved using just the periodic table. Some may require a basic information search. Teachers can determine if they would like to allow students to access the internet or use a textbook.
  • I suggest that students work in groups of two or three, however they can also work independently.
  • This activity can be used at the beginning of a unit on the periodic table, trends and/or atomic structure to challenge student’s prior knowledge. Alternatively, it can be used at the end of the unit as a cumulative assignment. In addition it can be edited for time, and information can be added or changed as needed.

For the Student

Lesson

Directions

There are (as of this writing) 118 elements on the Periodic table. Many are naturally occurring, some are synthesized. All have their own distinct properties and origins. Below is a list of clues for 50 different elements. You may use your book, internet and periodic table to find the names and symbols of the elements that match the clues below. Some are harder than others, but all are possible to solve, if you have patience!

Clue Element
  1. This element is the main element in stars.
  1. This element derived its name from the Latin word for stone, lithos.
  1. This element is collected as a silver liquid in the electrolysis of table salt.
  1. This element is a group 1 element named after a country.
  1. This element is found in potatoes and bananas.
  1. This element was first found in Ytterby, Sweden.
  1. This element was originally identified by its Latin name, argentum.
  1. This element is an alkali metal located in period 6 of the periodic table.
  1. This element derived its name from the Latin word for shining dawn, aurum.
  1. This element is an alkaline earth metal located in period 3.
  1. This element is the metallic ion in the substance limestone.
  1. This element is a transition metal with 30 protons.
  1. This element’s melting point is low enough, the solid can melt in your hand.
  1. This element has a nuclear charge of + 48.
  1. This element is an alkaline earth metal found in period 6.
  1. This element is a liquid metal, originally called hydragyrum.
  1. This element was named after a husband/wife duo (the wife was the 1 st woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry).
  1. This element is a lightweight metal with a molecular mass of 26.98 grams.
  1. This element is a transition metal with an atomic number of 46.
  1. This Actinide element is named after the man who 1 st created the periodic table.
  1. This element is a metal used in electrodes and has an atomic number of 78.
  1. This element is found in group 9 and period 5 of the periodic table.
  1. This element is the element whose common form is the basis of the atomic mass unit.
  1. This element is a semi-metal used to make transistors and other electronics.
  1. This element is located between scandium and vanadium on the periodic table.
  1. This element is the largest natural element, and it is used in nuclear reactions.
  1. This element derives its symbol from the Latin word stannum.
  1. This element is a very dense metal with an atomic mass of 207.2 g/mol.
  1. This element is the second member of the actinide series.
  1. This element in the most abundant element in the atmosphere.
  1. This element is named after the man who discovered Cm. He was the only person still living when the element was named.
  1. This newly synthesized element was named after the Volunteer state.
  1. This element is the lightest synthetic element on the periodic table.
  1. This element was originally called stibium.
  1. This element is located in period 6 of the periodic table, below Niobium.
  1. This element is a metal with atomic number 83.
  1. This element is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust. (It is a gas, and we need it to live).
  1. This element is a nonmetal with a yellow color, and has a very fowl stench when burned.
  1. This element is the first member of the group 6 on the periodic table.
  1. This element is named after the Latin word for rainbow, iris.
  1. This element has 42 protons in its nucleus.
  1. This element is a halogen whose purple colored crystals sublime.
  1. This element was originally called wolfram.
  1. This element is the fourth member of the actinide series, named after a (former) planet.
  1. This element is a poisonous gas used to keep swimming pools clean.
  1. This element is found between iron and osmium on the periodic table.
  1. This element forms a diatomic molecule with a molecular mass of 160 g.
  1. This element has an atomic mass of 127.6 g/mol.
  1. This element is a group 8 metal originally used to make weapons in the Roman Empire.
  1. This element is an element named after one of the United States, found in the Actinide series.