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Unfortunately, the terms “resource deprived” and “science teacher” are too often paired. Gaining access to inexpensive materials to teach with serves both teachers and students well, and simple materials do not necessarily produce simple lessons. In the science activity described here, playing cards serve as a tool to develop important habits of mind in learning science. By using the playing cards, students are able to model Mendeleev’s process for determining the properties of unknown elements in the periodic table.