From: Susan Aycock (SAYCOCK@starkville.k12.ms.us)
Date: Fri Jan 24 2003 - 12:09:06 EST
Please excuse if this is a repeat - I'm havingtouble with my e-mail
I teach children at an Alternative school and standards methods of pedagogy do not work with my students. A research project is usually out of the question unless I want to spent time to do it all in class.
For the intro to the periodic table I do a "Following Directions/Scavenger Hunt" with my students. Each student is given a blank periodic table and a pack of colored pencils. I have the same periodic chart on an overhead projected onto a white board.
We discuss the properties of the major groups, including reactivity, valence number and number of electrons in the outer shell. Individual elements are not discussed and are never placed on this chart. The students label each family right across the squares and eventually the table is color coded for metals, non metals and metalloids.
Metalloids are discussed fairly early and are presented as a game - find the squares. I will call out the coordinates and the students will find the square and lightly color it purple. I.e. find Group 13, period 2... seemingly random squares evolve into the stair step shape of the metalloids if directions have been followed and the student has understood the concept of groups and periods.
I have a cut out of the Lanthanide/ Actinide that I put on periodic chart projected on the board so that it curls out in 3 dimensions to illustrate where these elements actually fit in.
We refer to this chart often in the coming weeks as we discuss ions, reactivity, and orbital levels. The color blocks and lack of the busyness of the elements helps get major concepts of periodicity, predicting orbital levels and ionic compound across.
I follow this activity with the video "Sodium: A Spectacular Element" from Flinn Scientific. It is a great little video that shows the family properties of Group I elements and has wonderful footage of throwing large chunks of Na into a pond of water.