In this activity, students build a simplified periodic table using pictures of atoms. This exercise shows the relationships between the atoms' structure and the table's organization.
Students will see that the table’s rows correspond to atoms' number of orbits and the column's correspond to atoms' outer electrons. Often students start with the table to study atoms, but here we begin with atoms to study the table. Only the first 20 elements are used.
Use this to learn and reinforce answers to questions such as:
❑ What does an element’s location in the periodic table tell you about its atomic structure?
❑ How do elements differ from each other in terms of electrons?
❑ Where are the electrons in an atom located?
Once students work through the activity, they can capture their observations using the included Lab Notes or probing questions included in the instructions.
♦ The periods (or rows) in a periodic table show the number of shells an atom of that element has.
♦ The group number in a periodic table indicates the number of outer electrons for an atom of that element.
♦ Atoms have a specific arrangement of electrons.
♦ The atomic number equals the number of electrons in a neutral atom.
TEKS8.5A; 8.5C; 8.3B
VA SOL Science6.4b; 6.4c; PS 3b; PS 4a;
GSE S8P1 (part e)
Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.
Materials Needed Copies of cards which can be made on cardstock and/or laminated if desired. Directions are designed to be non-consumable and go straight into students’ hands without additional explanation.
Prep Time Photocopying and cutting apart cards. One set per lab group.
Teaching Time About 20 mins or more depending on accompanying writing assignment.
Student Sheets Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting
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