Anchor Phenomenon Ideas: Share a poster of the periodic table of the elements, a few element videos or one of many periodic table songs with students and let them discuss! Then, make a list of questions kids have and make connections throughout your unit.
Make it Relevant: Middle school kids are intrigued by the periodic table and are excited to learn what all of the symbols and numbers mean. We find this unit to be highly engaging!
Tips and Tricks: Let go of the worksheets with charts of elements asking kids to fill in the number of protons, neutrons and electrons! Those are busywork, boring and only prove your students can subtract. Instead, help kids find answers to the questions they have about elements and the periodic table.
Students usually ask why some elements like hydrogen have symbols that make sense (H) but other elements have symbols that do not make sense. Why is the symbol for gold Au? Here is a quick guide to explain unique element symbols.
Barium, sodium, sodium
Enrichment Ideas: The periodic table is like a secret code that students are thrilled to finally break! For a fun activity, ask students to write their name, another word or an entire story using the element symbols and names. For example, what do the element symbols for barium, sodium, sodium spell?
Molybdenum, uranium, selenium