The Periodic Table of Elements

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11039

Is a periodic table something that shows up now and then? No, it's a way of charting elements so you can see their relationships and properties. What's an element? Complete a neat project to find out!



learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What type of atom is pictured above?

In the last Related Lesson, found in the right-hand sidebar, you learned about the parts and structure of an atom and the charge of each part.

To review, describe the three main parts of an atom to your teacher or parent. Make sure to tell them where the part is located and what type of charge it has.

An element is one specific atom that cannot be broken down into anything else. In other words, an element is not a combination of different types of atoms.

A combination of different types of atoms is called a compound or a molecule. You will learn about compounds and molecules in the next Related Lesson.

To learn about elements, read Ducksters' Elements.

  • Can you explain what an element is, in your own words?
  • How can we know how many protons and electrons an atom has?

Elements are organized on the periodic table of elements.

To learn about the periodic table of elements, watch the Crash Course video The Periodic Table: Crash Course Chemistry #4:

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  • Why is the periodic table important?
  • How many elements currently exist?
  • What does the periodic table tell you about the structure of an atom?

Using the Elements List, spend some time exploring the different elements. Thirty-six elements are listed for you to investigate. As you study each element, think about what it is, where it is located on the periodic table, and its atomic structure.

Before moving on to the next section, examine the following image from the periodic table of elements:


  • What do the numbers on this image stand for, and why are they important?
  • What do the numbers tell you about the atomic structure of the element?

Review the element, then continue on to the Got It? section for some interactive fun!

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