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Grade: Middle
Subject: Science

#1929. The Periodic Table

Science, level: Middle
Posted Wed Aug 30 18:25:54 PDT 2000 by Karen Lyn Jenkins (
Matawan-Aberdeen School District, Cliffwood, Monmouth County
Materials Required: Colored 3x5 files cards, markers, construction paper
Activity Time: 5 , 43 minute periods to complete
Concepts Taught: Familiarization with the Periodic Table for Special Education students

1. Go over the Periodic Table with students and
explain the purpose of the Table; especially as it pertains to chemistry in real life.
2. Assign each student (or team of two children)a Family within the table (depending on how many
students are avialable in the class). My class was a smaller group, so each pair had at least
three/four different Families to work on.
3. Students will choose the color file card for
each family; no two same color cards should be
side by side (so that each family can be easily
viewed). Have on hand the following colors: pink, buff, white,light green and blue.
4. Each student must write on the card in marker
the element's name, symbol, atomic weight,atomic
number. I also had the students tell me about the
element and how it is used.
5. When the whole periodic table is completed by
the students, have students place the cards in
order by family. I kept them together with a paper clip until we were ready to put them on the bulletin board or wall. I also had students proof read our families to make sure the right
elements were in each family.
6. We then placed the Families of elements up on
the wall and included the Period number(across); we then had an easy to see rendition of the Periodic Table that the students had made. It was clear, easy to read, both across and down; and piqued their interest in some very obscure elements.
7. As we worked on Chemistry we had a great visual aid. We also color-coded the gases with
red marker; the transition metals, with blue
marker; metals, with black marker; the actinoids
and lanthanids were purple. You can adjust
the marker colors and card colors any way you choose. We used black construction paper cut in
narrow strips to show where the actinoids
and lanthanids were supposed to be in the Table
(to keep the Table symetrical these elements are
usually placed below the actual table).