K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn about Periodic law
  • analyze the difference between Groups and Periods
  • predict atomic mass with their atomic number
  • explain critical vocabulary like electronegativity, ionization energy, atomic size and ionic radius
  • analyze periodic trends in properties of elements in periodic table

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

90 minutes


  • one pencil for each student
  • one blank periodic table chart for each student
  • blocks of elements (these can be wooden blocks or just square pieces of paper labeled with symbol of different elements)
  • periodic property chart for each student
  • colored markers to label names of groups in periodic table
  • graph papers for each students to draw a graph of electronegativity and atomic numbers of elements

Technology resources

Each student should have one computer with access to the internet.


Warm-up activity to test pre-knowledge of students:

  • Students will try to fill in the gaps of atomic numbers and atomic masses for some of the elements in given worksheet as a pretest.
  • Download and print the attached RTF document, Warm-up, to distribute among students.


Teacher will:

  1. Introduce lesson with a little history of Mendeleev. (Mendeleev is known as a father of the periodic table. He arranged all the elements according to their increasing atomic number in the modern periodic table.) The teacher can find information at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Chemistry Division.
  2. State and explain periodic law.
  3. Ask students to read aloud the periodic law and copy it in their notebook so that when they read and write both, it is easier for them to memorize and learn spellings of technical terms.
  4. Define atomic number and atomic mass. (Atomic number of the element is equal to number of protons and atomic mass is equal to the total number of protons and neutrons in an element.)
  5. Explain and complete warm-up activities on given worksheets to complete atomic number and atomic mass. Explain how to calculate number of protons, electrons and neutrons. Print attached RTF document, Atoms, and distribute among students.
  6. Discuss relationship between atomic number and mass number with students. Atomic number is equal to number of protons and mass number is equal to total number of protons and neutrons.
  7. Arrange students in groups and give them blocks of elements with the atomic numbers and symbols on it. Ask them to arrange blocks in order of increasing atomic number.
  8. Explain terms groups and periods using names of different groups. Each column in the periodic table is known as a group and each row in the periodic table is known as a period.
  9. Show and explain the periodicity chart with definitions of critical vocabulary including electronegativity, ionization energy, atomic size and ionic radius. Teacher explains:
    • Atomic size increases across a group.
    • Electronegativity increases across in a period.
    • Metallic properties increase within a group.
    • Ionic properties increase across a period.
  10. Distribute blank periodic table charts among students and ask them to mark above periodicity of properties in chart, color the periodic table in terms of different groups and label each group by name.

Activity for practice.

  1. Jeopardy: Make some questions under the headings "Atomic size," "Ionization energy," "Electronegativity," "Periodic table," (general questions) and assign points like 500, 400, 300, 200 and 100. Download and print attached RTF file, Jeopardy, for questions and assign points to different questions as per the class difficulty level before starting this activity.
  2. Who wants to become a chemist? Download and print attached RTF file, Jeopardy, before starting this activity. You can use the same questions as before with the following three life lines:
    • 50/50
    • Ask a friend, where students can take help from any student in class
    • Ask audience (student can ask his/her class students and take decision)


Project work. Download and print attached RTF document, Project Work, and distribute to students. Students choose any element from periodic element and write a story about that element. Choose rubric and information given in attachment.

Supplemental information


  1. Use a language dictionary to find the meanings of critical vocabulary or explain with the help of giving examples related to their daily life. Example: To explain about Na and Cl element give the example of salt.
  2. Work with a partner if necessary.

Alternative assessments

Write Chemistry Journal in which they related what they learned in class to their lives and use attached rubric to assess their understanding and knowledge.

Download and print attached RTF file, Rubrics for Journal, and distribute to each student before starting this activity.

Critical vocabulary

groups, periods, ionization energy, electronegativity, atomic size, ionic radius, protons, electrons, neutrons


This lesson plan was developed during the English Language Development Standard Course of Study lesson planning institutes hosted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and LEARN NC, June and July, 2004. It includes specific strategies, instructional modifications, and alternative assessments, which make this lesson accessible to limited English proficient students. Please note that this lesson has been aligned with the goals and objectives of the N.C. English Language Development standards. This lesson plan completes all four domains: Reading, Writing, Listening and speaking.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Science (2010)
      • Chemistry

        • Chm.1.1 Analyze the structure of atoms and ions. Chm.1.1.1 Analyze the structure of atoms, isotopes, and ions. Chm.1.1.2 Analyze an atom in terms of the location of electrons. Chm.1.1.3 Explain the emission of electromagnetic radiation in spectral form in...
        • Chm.1.3 Understand the physical and chemical properties of atoms based on their position in the Periodic Table. Chm.1.3.1 Classify the components of a periodic table (period, group, metal, metalloid, nonmetal, transition). Chm.1.3.2 Infer the physical properties...
      • Grade 8

        • 8.P.1 Understand the properties of matter and changes that occur when matter interacts in an open and closed container. 8.P.1.1 Classify matter as elements, compounds, or mixtures based on how the atoms are packed together in arrangements. 8.P.1.2 Explain...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Development (2005)

  • Objective 0.01: Develop vocabulary based on increasingly complex academic and non-academic topics.
  • Objective 0.01: Use new vocabulary in speech.
  • Objective 0.04: Demonstrate an increased knowledge of academic content vocabulary.
  • Objective 0.05: Write an organized and focused composition with supporting details on familiar and previously studied topics
  • Science (2005)

    Grade 8

    • Goal 4: The learner will conduct investigations and utilize technology and information systems to build an understanding of chemistry.
      • Objective 4.03: Explain how the periodic table is a model for:
        • Classifying elements.
        • Identifying the properties of elements.

    Grade 9–12 — Chemistry

    • Goal 2: The learner will build an understanding of the structure and properties of matter.
      • Objective 2.02: Examine the nature of atomic structure.
        • Subatomic particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons.
        • Mass number.
        • Atomic number.
        • Isotopes.
    • Goal 3: The learner will build an understanding of regularities in chemistry.
      • Objective 3.01: Analyze periodic trends in chemical properties and use the periodic table to predict properties of elements.
        • Groups (families).
        • Periods.
        • Representative elements (main group) and transition elements.
        • Electron configuration and energy levels.
        • Ionization energy.
        • Atomic and ionic radii.
        • Electronegativity.