The resources in this list are useful for introducing the periodic table for the first time. The list includes quick starters, worksheets, film clips of a range of elements and a link to an interactive periodic table.
The resources support the teaching llinked to the following statements in the National Curriculum:
- differences between atoms, elements and compounds
- the varying physical and chemical properties of different elements
- the principles underpinning the Mendeleev Periodic Table
- the Periodic Table: periods and groups; metals and non-metals
Visit the secondary science webpage to access all lists: www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/secondaryscience
Links and Resources
When students look at the periodic table for the first time, they will not have heard of many of the elements.
Here's a set of short film clips in which celebrities and scientists choose their favourite element and explain why they like it so much.
You could use the clips to set the scene for an activity in which students choose their own favourite element, perhaps producing an illustrated information card about it, a radio script or a film clip.
Although this book looks dated now, it provides some great background information on how scientists have searched for the simple substances from which everything else might be made. The story starts with the discovery that fire could help to obtain metals from rocks and ends with Mendeleev’s triumphant discovery of the periodic law and the development of his table of the elements.
Teachers will want to spend some time updating the material so that it looks more appealing. You could include it in a pack of stimulus material for a research project on the periodic table. It would also make a good homework activity along with a set of comprehension questions to draw out the key points.
A quick bingo game using the element symbols.
If you click on 'Teacher information and worksheets', there are some copies of the periodic table with missing elements - handy as a quick starter or plenary.
This activity is based on a familiar card game. The cards llustrate thirty-four elements, providing descriptions, function, atomic structure and information on their physical properties.
Whilst some of the information will clearly be more appropriate to older students, the language is simple enough to allow flexibility of use with younger students.
Once students have become familiar with some of the elements in the periodic table, this video introduces the main groups and the idea that elements in a group have similar properties.
The film makes a good introduction to predicting patterns of reactions using the periodic table. Click here to view a list of resources which look at patterns in reactions.