|Teaching Guide for Table Manners:
Basics of the Periodic Table of Elements
Instructional use scenarios
Assessment and evaluation
Bibliography and webliography
This module for 7th and 8th grade students will help them develop an understanding
of basic chemistry concepts and the Periodic Table of Elements that will
• the nature of chemistry as the central science
• the structure and classification of matter
• the interactions of matter and the forces that cause that interaction
• how chemistry affects the daily lives of everyone
• hands-on use of the Periodic Table of Elements.
Currently a set of seven lessons is being developed
for this module, focusing on the history of the periodic table and basics
of chemistry through hands-on learning using our Interactive Periodic
Table of Elements. Additional lessons will be identified for inclusion
in future development cycles.
This lesson on the history of the periodic table centers
on the story of Dmitry Mendeleyev, the Russian chemist credited with developing
the Periodic Table of Elements. He tells about his family and growing
up in Siberia, and how he came to organize the elements the way that he
did in 1869. Mendeleyev's periodic table looks quite different from the
one commonly used today because so much more knowledge about the nature
of matter has expanded the modern periodic table. However, Mendeleyev
knew there was information scientists were still missing, so he arranged
his table with gaps so that new elements could be added when they were
discovered. His periodic table proved to be correct. Within a few years
of developing the table, the elements he predicted would be discovered
were identified by other chemists throughout Europe. The story emphasizes
the nature of scientific inquiry and history of science.
Mutiny on the Table!
This lesson familiarizes students with the main groups
of the periodic table: alkali metals, alkali earth metals, transition
metals, other metals, nonmetals, and noble gases. The lesson narrator
is hydrogen, the first element. Hydrogen and the noble gases serve as
"judge and jury" while the groups make their case as to why
they should be the first in the Periodic Table of Elements. The first
element from each group describes the property of its group and common
uses to persuade readers that they are more important than the other groups.
Throughout the lesson, students are asked to write their opinions about
whether the different groups made a strong enough case to deserve getting
a new position on the table. The lesson includes access to an Interactive
Periodic Table of Elements for students to engage in hands-on exploration
of the periodic table.
Each lesson comes with a teaching guide that highlights
specific goals covered by the lesson. Please refer to the lesson teaching
guide for this information.
Chicago WebDocent lessons are written as stories and include a printable,
online journal for students to respond to questions; thus all lessons
align to the following Illinois State Goals for Language Arts:
State Goal 1
Read with understanding and fluency.
State Goal 2
Understand explicit and implicit meaning in literature representing individual,
community, national, world, and historical perspectives.
State Goal 3
Write to communicate for a variety of purposes.
All lessons include a additional activities for extending the lesson offline
and web links for conducting research. These may cover additional Language
State Goal 4
Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.
State Goal 5
Use the Language Arts for inquiry and research to acquire, organize, analyze,
evaluation, and communicate information.
This module aligns to the following Illinois State Goals for Science:
State Goal 11
Have a working knowledge of the processes of scientific inquiry and technological
design to investigate questions, conduct experiments, and solve problems.
State Goal 12
Have a working knowledge of the fundamental concepts and principles of
the life, physical, and earth/space sciences and their connections.
State Goal 13
Have a working knowledge of the relationships among science, technology,
Reading at a 7th grade level
Use of Internet browsers
Use of mouse
Instructional use scenarios
Consult the lesson teaching guide for suggested pre-activities
to prepare students for the lesson. The lessons include online journal
questions and an interactive dictionary. It is helpful to preview these
features before starting the lesson with students.
Seat students in pairs at computers, a strong reader with a student who
needs help reading and have them take turns reading together OR seat students
singly at computers.
It is helpful for the teacher and/or tech coordinator to start the lesson
by reading through a few pages or a section (or have students take turns
reading). If there is a projector in the lab, the teacher can also model
navigation and interactive elements for students as they go through the
first pages as a group.
The lessons include an online journal. Teachers may model note taking,
as this is a skill that takes practice. Encourage students to write down
anything of interest in their journals as well as unfamiliar terms. Students
working in pairs can each type in their answers in the online journal.
When more than one student is answering in the journal, they should write
their name by their answer to identify their response from others.
Set a goal for students so they read up to a certain point in the lesson
or for a certain amount of time, for example, "read up to page 13"
or "we will stop in 15 minutes." The progress bar at the top
of the screen allows teachers to walk around the room and quickly notice
if students are falling behind or moving too fast; it also indicates which
pages have an activity the student has not completed, such as a journal
question or interactive.
When students reach their assigned goal, stop and ask how students are
doing. You could prepare questions related to the content, or simply check
in to see if students are having difficulties with navigation or reading.
Depending on the reading level of students, it may take more than one
class session to complete a lesson. An approach to completing a lesson
if time is a concern is to form groups among your students to read a few
sections of the lesson. Then convene the entire class to report on their
sections to the rest of the class. In between reports students could make
predictions about what will happen next.
Teachers are strongly encouraged to allow for discussion time after the
lesson so students can reflect and give feedback on what they learned.
One or more workstations:
Be sure to model navigation and identify interactive
features for students before they begin. Arrange students into small
groups with the assignment of reading 3 or 4 sections of the lesson. Each
group takes turns on the computer/computers to complete their assignment.
The group can respond to questions in the online journal, taking turns
typing in their answers or responding as a group. (When more than one
student is answering in the journal, they should write their name by their
answer to identify their response from others.) Convene the entire class
to report on their sections to the rest of the class. Reports can take
the form of presentations or can be given as a re-enactment of what students
read. In between reports ask students to predict what will happen next.
Students may be incentivized to have time on the computer alone to read
parts of the lesson they did not study as a group.
Teachers are strongly encouraged to allow for discussion
time after the lesson so students can reflect and give feedback on what
One workstation and a projector:
This arrangement allows for group participation in the lessons. The teacher
may lead students through parts of the lesson and ask for volunteer readers
from the audience. Students may volunteer to run the mouse, read, or try
out the interactives. Many of the lessons are written with multiple voices,
and are excellent choices for presenting the lesson like a play with students
assigned roles (check lesson teaching guides under instructional uses
for lessons that fit this category well). The journal questions can be
provided to students beforehand so that they may write down their individual
responses during the group session. Students
may be incentivized to have time on the computer alone to read the lesson.
As always, teachers are strongly encouraged to allow for discussion time
after the lesson so students can reflect and give feedback on what they
Assessment and evaluation
Each lesson comes with various forms of assessment.
1. Online, printable journals accessed from within
the lesson presents students with higher order thinking questions. Teachers
can collect these at the end of the lesson.
2 . Many lessons include interactives and other activities that allow
students to self-test. These are not captured forms of assessments, but
offer opportunities for students to challenge themselves without the pressure
3 . The list of supporting materials that appears on the first page of
each lesson offers other evaluation and assessment activities. These include:
· Teaching guide - check the lesson teaching guide for additional
suggestions for assessment and evaluation.
· Additional Activities - these are suggested activities to extend
the lesson offline. Additional activities include presentations, hands-on
projects, research projects, and discussion topics.
· Web Links, which offer a list of high-quality, trustworthy resources
for students to conduct online research, including links to resources
available on eCUIP, the Digital Library.
We recommend a field trip to the Adler
Planetarium and Astronomy Museum and Museum
of Science and Industry as part of learning about the history of science
and chemistry. Information about these and other museums can be found
on our Museum
We recommend a final project activity to clarify student's understanding
of the big ideas presented in the module and to address any learning gaps.
Teachers should be prepared to coordinate
a discussion of the final project, and may wish to devote separate class
periods for completing it.
Albert Stwerka, A Guide to the Elements, rev. ed. New York: Oxford University
Patricia L. Barnes-Svarney, The New York Public Library Science Desk Reference.
New York: The Stonesong Press Inc. and The New York Public Library, 1995.