Teacher Corner -Lesson 1


LESSON 1.  Reading the Periodic Table

Objective:   Students learn to read the periodic table of the elements.


Periodic Table Placemat (Painless Learning version)

Teacher Notes:

This unit reviews the periodic table emphasizing how to read the table.  If your students have not used a periodic table, the worksheet will help them look in detail at the different elements.

The periodic table provides information about the elements including atomic mass, number of protons, families, and other physical and chemical characteristics.  The number of electrons and neutrons can be calculated from this information.  The table is a chemist's "handbook."  Impress on your students that this chart took a long time to develop.  They will read about the history of the periodic table in Lesson 5.

Students should appreciate that all substances on Earth are found on this chart.  Even synthetic substances that are produced in the laboratory and not naturally stable on Earth can be found.   The Periodic Table of the Elements should not be memorized.  The more you use the table with your students, the more the elements become alive. 

Please note the worksheet was designed to work with the recommended Periodic Table Placemat (Painless Learning).  If you are using another Periodic Table you may have to change some of the questions.


  1. gas 11; liquid 4, solid 75; synthetic 22

  2. 18, the Roman numerals were an older version

  3. 7 periods; 6  Period Lanthanide; 7 Period Actinide

  4. forest green: alkali metals; orange: alkaline earth metals; purple: transition metals; blue: other metals; peach: non metals; yellow: noble gases; bright green: metalloids

    Hydrogen is not represented in the color code as a light green, it is unique

  5. Copper (Cu); Silver (Ag); Tin (Sn); Antimony (Sb); Mercury (Hg); Gold (Au); Tungsten (W), Iron (Fe), Potassium (K), Lead (Pb), Sodium (Na)

  6. Curium (96); Einstenium (99); Fermium (100); Mendelevium (101); Nobelium (102); Lawrencium (103); Rutherfordium (104); Seaborgium (106); Bohrium (107); Meitnerium (109)

  7. Mercury (80), Uranium (92); Neptunium (93); Plutonium (94)

  8. Cities:  Holmium (Stockholm in Sweden, 67); Berkelium (97); Yttrium (village in Sweden, 39); State:  Califorium (98); Country:  Germanium (32); Francium (87), Ruthenium(for Russia, 44); Americium (95);  Polonium (84) Continent: Europium (63)

  9. He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe, Rn

  10. atomic number

  11. 8; cubic, face centered; cubic, body centered; cubic; hexagonal; rhombohedral; tetragonal; orthorhombic; monoclinic

  12. Uun, Uuu, Uub

  13. yes, but there are exceptions

  14. hydrogen, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, neon, silicon and many more  (basically, groups 17, 18, 14 (exception germanium)

  15. the groups seem to have similar “ballpark” melting and boiling points compared to other groups; some close elements in periods are very similar (i.e. Co, Ni, Cu)

  16.  transitional metals seem to be denser and right side seems to be lighter.

  17. s, p, d, f;  the period uses the Noble gas configuration and adds on, each period has similar configuration

  18. densest: Osmium (Os, 76) (22.6); lightest: Hydrogen (H,1) (.071)

  19. Boiling Pt. Rhenium (Re, 75) 5596 centigrade;  Melting Point: Tungsten (W, 74) 3422 centigrade  (notice that Carbon does not have a boiling point, some consider some of its isotopes with the highest  melting point)…so if you are using a different table, please note there may be a difference

  20. Helium (He, 2) -268.9 centigrade


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