AACT Periodic Table Unit Plan Updated

By Kim Duncan on October 8, 2020

As chemistry teachers around the country are planning activities for both distant and face-to-face learning, AACT will be highlighting resources from our high school resource library that can be used to reinforce topics in different units throughout the school year. Last week we updated our Atomic Structure unit and we are now moving on to resources that can be used to support a Periodic Table unit.

We have added a few resources related to this topic to the high school library, which are highlighted below. We have also updated our unit plan to help you teach an introductory unit on the periodic table. In the sidebar of this page, we have included links to resources that are appropriate for virtual learning.

Introduce the concept of periodicity with the lesson, How the Periodic Table Organizes the Elements. Students watch a video that is part of the American Chemical Society video series Chemistry Basics and answer questions as it plays. This activity will help them learn about how the elements on the periodic table are organized and what their location on the table can tell us about them.

The activity, Element Bingo helps students identify element names by their symbol by playing a Bingo game, crossing out the element symbol on their Bingo card that corresponds to the element name announced by the teacher.

After introducing periodic trends, use the activity, Periodic War to have students apply what they have learned using a card game that includes the main group elements.

Then use the activity, Organizing the Periodic Table to challenge students to organize elements into the shape of the periodic table based on data. Students are given a set of cards, each card representing an element, and containing five data points for consideration. The data that students will analyze includes atomic mass, atomic radius, melting point, density and electronegativity.

End the unit with the project, Repurposing the Periodic Table as a culminating activity. Students must apply the principles governing the organization of the periodic table to one of their own creation. Students choose a category of objects and organize them into a periodic table, establishing trends across a period and within a group and creating a poster to present their table to the class.

We hope that these resources can help you to reinforce several of the topics covered in a unit about the periodic table. Most of these lessons were made possible by great teachers who shared their own resources. We need your help to keep the collection growing. Do you have a great demonstration, activity, or lesson related to this topic that you would like to share with the community? Please send it along for consideration.