How to Teach the Periodic Table of Elements to 8th Graders

Well, being an eighth grader myself I know how we learn best. If you would want to teach the periodic table to a group of eighth graders I would recommend that you make it into some sort of game, such as memory. You could have a certain number of cards with the abbreviation of the element then the corresponding element written out on a different set of cards. I assume that is all you would want them to learn. Do not teach them the atomic masses that would be too much for the students. Now another suggestion is if you would want to teach them the groups of the table you could add a color-code to the memory cards. Then if you could have them play with the cards at least ten minutes a day then they would learn the table fairly quickly at least in a month. Hint don’t use all the cards there would be too many. A suggestion is to only use one-group cards for one week then switch to another group. For example for first week of learning only use Alkali Metals. The following week you could use the noble gas cards. Although if you don’t want to play games you could always give then homework and have them memorize one group in one day, then go over it in class. They would be very mad about it but it would take much less time. Unless you made a much longer project for about a week to memorize one group then it should be okay but you should go over at least two elements a day in class. I recommend breaking up the Trans. metals up into two days or two weeks because it is the largest periodic group. I remember my sister talking about a ninth grade teacher that helped her learn the periodic table. The teacher used humorous sayings to help the students memorize. For example the teacher would say “would you like some sodium on your breakfast flakes… Naaaaaaaaaa. She would as well say something along the lines of ” Gold is up tight like AU but then silver is more laid back like Ag. Then the teacher would say Potassium ummm K(a joke from south park). Those sayings my sister still remembers but her teacher didn’t require for her to know the entire table. All she would have to know is just a few important minerals. If this is your objective I would recommend my first suggestion of making some sort of game. To conclude if you want to teach eighth graders the periodic table then I would make the activity fun and I would make them work on it daily. Do not over work them though. Remember we are just innocent children. 🙂