It was Oregonians only (lucky me!) for PBS’s limited release of The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements in fall 2014. A national premiere is now at hand—mark your calendar for your local station’s broadcast.
This week I am on spring break. Before spring break, my honors and regular Chemistry 1 classes made it through our third unit called “Periodic Table and Periodicity.” During this unit, we take about 3 days to learn the content and another 3-4 days to practice the content (more for Chemistry 1, less for Honors). One way that I have my students review the content is by playing a board game that I recreated from an NSTA conference a few years ago. In this board game students are instructed to place words on their proper line/location (including names of families/groups and regions of the periodic table) and arrows on yellow dots pointing in the direction that that periodic trend increases (trends include: Electronegativity, Ionization Energy, and Atomic Size/Radius). Feel free to create additional periodic trend arrows depending on what you’ve covered in class.
TV and movie screens today offer us a desperate fight against crazy-fast zombies, a peek into celebrities’ lives where truth is often stranger than fiction, million-dollar game shows, and more. Can portraits of science compete?
Here’s a great project to try with your students: build a periodic table out of Lego blocks. We did this a few years ago at Spring Arbor University, working with teachers and students from Hardin Valley Academy i
Students will proceed through a pre-lab engagement activity, organize element cards based on similarities & trends, discuss trends with the class and then produce a periodic table that includes the trends discussed within the lab. The teacher will check for student understanding at specific points as groups work together.
Two 60 minute class periods for procedure. You may wish to include more time for discussion. The assessment portion can be done as homework.