Lesson 6: The Recurring (Periodic) Table of Elements

Day 2

Activity 3: Seeing Patterns in the Periodic Table

Materials: periodic table of elements (kit)
In this activity, you will be introduced to more key ideas associated with the periodic table. You will be challenged to make a connection between the information provided and the table that you completed in Activity 2. To help you with this material, considering reviewing p. 12 of Atoms. Pay attention to the term metalloid (an element that has properties of both a metal and nonmetal).

Nonmetals that are Gases
Inert gases and other nonmetals are found on the right side of the periodic table. Inert gases have an outer shell that is full.
  • Using the table completed in Activity 2, what elements are inert gases?
  • What trends do you notice with regards to the outer shells of gases?
Metals are located on the left side and middle of the periodic table. The seven metalloids are located between the metals and nonmetals. What differences do you see between the outer shells of metals and nonmetals?

Use the tables from Activity 2 to help you fill in the "Seeing Patterns in the Periodic Table" activity page. Based on the information, guess whether the element is a metal or nonmetal. Use your copy of the periodic table to check your answers. NOTE: When considering whether or not an element is a metal or nonmetal, keep in mind that the number of electrons on the outer shell is crucial. You will find that elements with generally less than four electrons on the outermost shell tend to be metals while those that are four or greater tend to be nonmetals.
Your child should complete the table and make use of the periodic table included with this unit to check the final column (metal or nonmetal) once she has completed the table.
Answer Key - Seeing Patterns in the Periodic Table

Activity 4: Comparing and Contrasting Metals and Nonmetals

In this activity you will choose two of the elements from Activity 3. One of the elements should be a metal and one should be a nonmetal. Using what you have learned about the properties of matter, create a visual aid that will help someone recognize the recurring (periodic) trends found in the periodic table of elements by using the two elements you have chosen. You will want to use the vocabulary you have learned in this lesson and previous ones. Here are some basic hints to help:
  • List the similarities between the two elements (for example, atomic structures all have the same particles)
  • List the differences between the two (number of atomic particles, electrons on the outer shell, properties, etc.)
  • Consider some of the key differences between the properties of metals and nonmetals.
  • Your visual aid should show the similarities and differences between the two elements. Ideas include a Venn diagram or a table. Whichever design you choose, include the general location of the elements on the periodic table.
  • Once you have completed this section of the activity, show how these trends are common on the periodic table. For example, show where the different types of elements are located.
If time permits, create an atomic model drawing to show differences in the outermost shells of the two types of elements.
In this activity, your child will choose one metal and one nonmetal from Activity 3 and create a visual aid that shows some similarities and differences between the two elements. She can use a Venn diagram or other graphic to compare and contrast the two. She should also include some key differences between the properties of metals and nonmetals, such as ductility, malleability, solubility, and conductivity. She will need to focus on the number of electrons on the outermost shell. Your child should be able to point out that metals are typically center and left of center of the periodic table, while nonmetals are mostly on the far right. Refer to the answer key for Activity 3 for details about the elements your child chose.