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I'm looking for the best way to teach the periodic table structure to 6th grade. My experience has been on the 9th grade level, so I'm not real sure how to approach the subject.
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do it as a puzzle in groups. give them all the elements as individual
squares with basic information- atomic number, amu, and symbol. Let them
arrange it in any way they could imagine. When their alloted time is up,
have them explain their reasoning for their arrangement and compare the
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Shontell, I too find it hard to actually teach a periodic table. I think maybe you could introduce the elements and see if students can find similarities and differences between them. They can write these points on a vend diagram to help them visualize them better. This could be implemented in the "hook" of the lesson to get them engaged!
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Hi Ms. Shontell,
I am wondering if you ever found the best way to teach the periodic table? If so, can you give me examples on how you approached the subject? Can you also give me some feedback on how your students reacted to your instruction on the topic?
Thanks so much and I look forward on hearing back from you!
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Look up the songs and the app. They are quite interesting!
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Hi Shontell! With the 6th Graders, I always tried to make it as much fun as possible. hey - this works with the 7th Graders and 8th and 9th 10th 11th and 12th, as well. Any way, with the 6th Graders I always tried to engage them in a fun way and one way is with a goofy song which will give you a chance to explain the parts of the nucleus, protons, neutrons, and electrons. Then you can talk about outer shells which dictate reactivity and chemical properties and that leads you into why there are rows and columns. Have fun :)
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Thank you for sharing! I also had a bit of trouble learning the periodic table, but I find the video really helpful and engaged. This will definitely work with any grade level. Always having a fun activity/ hands on in the classroom will definitely help the students understand the material. I know when I was in middle/high school it was usually paper and pencil which i think that's why I had difficult understanding the topic. Science has been my strongest, but just not that topic about the periodic table that took me a couple of years to understand and learn each one of them.
Once, again thank you for your suggestions I really appreciate it :D
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I taught 6th grade last year. We made a human periodic table by students decorating a tshirt as an element. The students had a fashion show showing off their element shirts. On the front was the bohr model of the atom. All of the information from the periodic table. atomic weight, number electrons, neutrons, protons. Then we had the students place drawings of items made of the element on the back with 5 fun facts. On the left sleeve they placed the group number of where their element is placed. On the Right they wrote the name of the group their element is classified in such as Noble gasses. Students had alot of fun trying to complete their shirts. It took 3 class periods for working on shirts and 1.5 presenting.
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I've also struggled with the teaching of the periodic table but I do use the music video, "Meet the Elements," by They Might Be Giants to introduce the concept. The students seem to enjoy it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy0m7jnyv6U I'm interested to read on this thread what other people do with this topic.
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In line with the videos suggested, PBS has a really interesting and fun documentary called Hunting the Elements. Clips from this could be used to help engage the students before really delving into the periodic table. Nova also has an online, interactive periodic table to explore properties of different elements.
Another fun activity could be turning each element into a super hero. Students each select one element and then design a super hero based off of the properties of each element. They also can include important information about the element, like atomic mass, atomic number, and so on.
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I recently observed a 4th grade classroom learning about the periodic table and noticed a few things NOT to do from that experience. The students drew their own periodic tables and colored in each element a different color, then copied down their atomic number and weights. Though the parts of the atom and the ways the elements differed in each group was gone over briefly, I think it would have been more beneficial to the students to have a richer discussion of these topics, with less focus on drawing their tabes. Perhaps a matching game, as said previously would be more engaging and promote deeper understanding of the parts of the table. Another fun activity would be passing around different elements, I know there are a few kits you can order online that have actual specimens of many of the elements. Good luck!
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I have used a few techniques that have really helped. One of them is Periodic Table Battleship. This was even fun for the Chemistry students. I also have an interactive Periodic Table that they can log in with their cellphone and pull up realistic examples of the elements. I have also found interactive tables online. I also have written the elements out on index cards and they have to split into groups and the first team to lay them out correctly on the floor is the winner!
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I have also found a couple of youtube videos on Periodic Table rap songs. There is also the Periodic Table Song you can find online. I incorporate as many visual learning resources that I can!
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Love the idea with the idex cards! I will try that next year for sure.
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Sorry for the late response...I did find some cool intro songs to get the students started thinking about the periodic table. I finally decided to utililze a color coding system to cover the basic components of the periodic table. My department came up with a plan for me to just cover the structure of the periodic table and they would go into more details the next two years (building on what I covered). We were testing out a possible plan for next year where the 6th grade would concentrate on building an informaional foundation, 7th grade will develop connections to and from the foundation, and 8th grade would work on making it relevant to the students. It will take three years to see if this is a good plan, but forward thinking takes time.
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