Teaching the Periodic Table

Most 9th graders will have learnt the basics of periodic table in grade 5, but many of them would have forgotten. That is why it is critical to teach 9th graders from the beginning.

1.) History: Introduce 9th graders to the history of periodic table and how it evolved throughout. The smart students will always be interested in knowing why and how something was created, and for them this is an essential step. Give those important dates and biography of the people who were involved in the making of the periodic table.

Many students wonder why the periodic table is what it is and that is why the background is important. You can also tell them to write a report on the history of period table to get started.

2.) Introduction to elements:

– Introduce students to the elements of the periodic table by giving physical and chemical properties of the first 20 elements.
– Make the students memorize first 20 elements and symbols for easy recognition
– Give a quiz with 10 symbols and 10 element names and make students write the names and symbols.

3.) Introduction to groups:

– Introduce students to the groups by giving them names of the groups first.
– Ask students to get together in groups of 5 and each member writes a report on one group. Assign each student a group to write the report on and make them hand it in.
– Give a quiz asking general information about the elements.

4.) Give them a copy of the periodic table: Now that you have prepared them with basic information, it is time to give them give each student their own copy of the periodic table.

5.) Introduction to atomic numbers/properties:
– Give students a worksheet on atomic numbers in terms of number of protons, number of neutrons and number of electrons in each element.
– Make students memorize the electron configuration of the first 20 elements.

6.) Introduction to periodic table diagrams:
– Give students a blank piece of paper to make the Lewis diagrams of the first 30 elements. This will make them memorize important information, symbols and learn how to interpret data from the periodic table.

By now most students would have grasp of the basic concepts regarding the periodic table. Don’t forget to give a test to the students at the end of the chapter. The reports don’t have to be collected and can be changed to presentations or a worksheet.

Remember that grade 9 is the start to the basics of periodic table so take it slowly and don’t be focused on the Avogadro’s number as it will be introduced in later grades. Give enough work but not too much!