Periodic Table of What?!

by Mrs. Nilsen on October 14th, 2013

Weekly Science News 10/14 - 10/18 (8th grade only)

This week the 8s took a pause in their direct instruction of the Sciences and used their own powers of observation working on a fun project - The Periodic Table of What?!.  The project asks them to design their own periodic table using whatever content they choose.  

8th graders are to apply their knowledge of the Period Table to this project this week while the 6s and 7s are at Outdoor School.  The projects will be presented to the class on Monday, October 21st.  I can't wait to see what our 8s create!


“The Periodic Table of What?!”

 
Background: The Periodic Table of Elements is a masterwork in the sciences.  Many scientists have helped us understand the elements. It is a summary of key facts about each element that is organized based upon similar or different properties.
 
The Challenge: Create a “Periodic Table of ____________.”  You decide the content.  The key parts of the real Periodic Table are the Elements.  Your challenge is to replace the elements in the Periodic Table with something new! Whatever “things” you choose to fill your table, you must organize them so that the arrangement looks like the real Periodic Table. 
 
Example:  Imagine I wanted to create a “Periodic Table of Candy.”  I would need to do some research and make a list of different kinds of candy and their characteristics that I would then organize into a table.
 
Group:  (a vertical column)
The 18 groups of the real periodic table are arranged from left to right by increasing number of protons.  In my candy example, I could arrange the Groups from soft to hard, or how long it takes to eat, or whatever works.
 
Periods: (a horizontal row)
In the real periodic table each period increases the number of electron shells from top to bottom. In the candy example, I could organize this by increasing cost, price, or calories.  If I choose cost, for example, all candy in Period One would be 10 cents, Period 2 are 25 cents, 3 are 50 cents and so on.
 
Families: (large groups with similar properties)
The periodic table of elements is also organized into categories of common characteristics (metals, non-metals, etc.).  Find 3-5 major groupings in your examples.  In the candy example I could organize by chocolate, and non-chocolate or bars and pieces of candy. Identify these groups by making them the same color.
 
The Atomic Number:
You can number your “elements” in order from left to right like the Periodic Table of Elements.
 
Criteria:
1.  Organization of Groups:
a.    Similar properties are grouped into columns
b.    Identify the property at the top of each column
c.    Each group property must have its own column
          d.  Arrange and label the group columns so they increase from left to right
 
2.  Organization of Periods:
a.    Find a quality that will have the same characteristic across the
     row for all groups.
b.    Arrange the properties so they increase from top to bottom
c.    Identify each characteristic to the left of each row.
 
3. Organization of Families: Color 3-5 large groups that share general family characteristics (similar to the groupings of metals, metalloids, and non-metals).
 
4.  Make a sample “Element Box” to serve as a Key and label the parts, including:
a.    Names and symbols for your entities
b.    An “Atomic Number”
c.    Optional:  electron arrangement position could show information/statistics such as player ranking Ave. Atomic Mass could show personal/product information such as price, weight, or age.
 
5.  Provide a Key that explains how your table is organized:
          Family/Groups (columns from top down) and Periods (rows from left to right)
 
6.  Title:  “The Periodic Table of ___________”
 
7.  Heading:  Name/s, Period number
 
9.  Visual appeal, originality, and effort
 
10.  Minimum of 25 boxes

Good luck, young scientists.  Use those powers of observation and classify, organize, and group to your hearts content!  I'll see you next Monday.


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