General Science and Teaching

Halloween and the Periodic Table

Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:19 PM

I am student teaching and have been asked to teach an introductory lesson on the periodic table. The catch is that I am teaching on Halloween AND I am going to be observed by my university sponsor as well as the school's administration. I am looking for something that is authentically engaging but still fun for the kids and hopefully related to the holiday. Any suggestions? I apologize if this has already been covered as this is my first post. Thanks in advance!

Ian Ashland
Ian Ashland
30 Activity Points

Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:21 PM

Sorry. 8th grade general science class is my target audience for this one.

Ian Ashland
Ian Ashland
30 Activity Points

Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:11 AM

Hi Ian,

Have you taken a look at this thread: [url=]Halloween Science[/url

It has some really good ideas and journal articles that might help.

Let us know how the lesson goes - it sounds interesting.


Kendra Young
Kendra Young
16980 Activity Points

Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:27 AM

Though not directly related to Halloween. I found one on Neon on the site' target="_blank">

The Periodic Table of Videos is a collaboration between the University of Nottingham's School of Chemistry and video journalist Brady Haran.

We initially made videos about all 118 elements. We're now updating and improving those videos - but also making regular films about other aspects of chemistry and chemistry in the news!

For more information you can visit our main website at' target="_blank">

Follow us on Facebook at

And on Twitter at

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
41685 Activity Points

Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:19 PM

Clarkson University student chapter of the American Chemical Society, along with the physics club and the theater club hosted the carving of the first “periodic table of pumpkins”.Community members were invited to carve a pumpkin with the symbol of their favorite element as a kick-off to National Chemistry Week (Nov. 4-11). Pics through the link below

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68500 Activity Points

Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:43 PM

Hi Ian,
I found an article in the learning Center where a teacher had students use cereal boxes to create a Periodic Table and understand periodicity. It also mentions making one using paint chip samples. I am wondering if you could do a 'take off' on that, where you would use a Halloween theme. Bring in gobs of symbols having to do with Halloween: kinds of Halloween candy (Unopened, of course), pictures of various black cats, witches' hats, spooky ghosts and goblins, freaky characters like Frankenstein, Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde, etc., You would want enough items to create several rows and columns of a Halloween Periodic Table. The class might work in groups to see which group can come up with a 'logical-looking' periodic table. You could set up a few rules like there has to be at least 5 rows and 5 columns; The element names have to have one- two- or three-letter symbols that make sense. The rules have to make sense for placing elements in their specific 'families' or 'groups',etc.
The students would be engaging in a creative activity that would also be helping them to understand periodicity.
I might try this myself!

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79338 Activity Points

Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:31 PM

Excellent resources/ideas Arlene and Carolyn.

Thanks for sharing,


Lorrie Armfield
Lorrie Armfield
51413 Activity Points

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