First Great Lesson (4): Study of Elements and the Periodic Table

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A few weeks before our vacation, the kids and I worked on the periodic table.  We did this years ago, and Mavi was so excited to work on this activity again.  This is a continuation of our Great Lessons, and if you are new to this post, you can revisit the first and second part of the activities here:  (1) Experiments on the Laws of the Universe and (2) The Volcano

First Great Lesson (4):  Study of Elements and the Periodic Table

After our discussions on the planets and solar system, we immediately moved to learning about the elements.  My main goal here is to familiarize and to be aware that the elements exist in our surroundings and are present in our daily life.  When I say familiarization, this includes being able to name a few elements that are part of our household.  Yes, some of these are just within our reach!    For this lesson, here are my objectives:
  1. Understand what elements are.
  2. Identify the solid, liquid and gaseous elements in the Periodic Table.
  3. Identify the metal and non-metal (or organic).
  4. Identify the elements that can be found in your home.
To start with, I bought Mavi this book The Elements from Amazon.  Also we again used our element cards which I printed years ago from this website.  These are the very same cards you see from my previous post, Introducing Periodic Table To Kids.

The Periodic Table of Elements

The first thing we did is talk about the periodic table and how the elements are organized in the table. Then we used the book for discussing what the elements are and why there is a periodic table.  After our discussion, I showed the cards to Mavi and reintroduced each of the elements.  The cards are color coded, so it is child-friendly, so easy for them to identify and sort out elements.  Mavi insisted on arranging the cards based on the Periodic table.

Element Cards Arranged in a Periodic Table

Arranging the Element Cards in a Periodic Table

Arranging the Element Cards in a Periodic Table

After the walkthrough of elements, I asked Mavi to look around the house for the elements described in the cards.  This was the most exciting part of the activity.  Vito joined in as well, following his brother everywhere in the house in search of the objects that can match our cards.  This is what Mavi came up with.

Element Cards with Household Items

As you can see, most of the elements are straight forward, they’re so easy to find around the house!  I love how the kids are able to learn about elements using concrete materials rather than memorizing them from the periodic table of elements.

Element Cards with Household Items

After gathering elements present in the household, we discussed each of their properties.  For example, we talked about phosphorus, we read the properties in the book and then tested it (it is flammable and ADULT SUPERVISION is required).

Testing Phosphorus
Please note, ADULT SUPERVISION is required at all times here.  Enjoy!

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Elements



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