Learning Exercise

Periodic Elements: Activity for Discovery

Element exploration leading to a presentation on element's unique characteristics while analyzing differences and similarities. This will lead to a better understanding of the organization of the periodic table.
Course: general chemistry

This site consists of an interactive periodic table directed toward students. see more


Day 1:
Each student will pick three elements [1 metal, 1 non-metal and 1 trans-metal]
and do a write-up assignment. For each element they must include the following
1. What are its main characteristics?
2. Where is it located on the periodic table?
3. Describe its discovery.
4. How is it useful?
5. What makes it unique?
6. Include a Lewis dot diagram and atomic structure.
Day 2:
Put the class into teams of three for group presentations. Each person must
contribute one of their elements to the presentation. Using whiteboards or
posters, have students put down the info that they feel is most important for
the whole class to know including differences and similarities among the three
elements. Presentations must include the whiteboard/poster and another visual
(physical, picture, example etc.).

Technical Notes

Computer is necessary.


ability to navigate on a computer, internet


Organization of periodic table, Familiarization of elements, their characteristics and their presence on earth

Learning Objectives

1. Familiarize students with the periodic table
2. Analyze the structure
3. Learn about characteristics of various elements
4. Make a connection to real life