Teacher Corner -Lesson 2


LESSON 2.  Elements

Objective:  Students explore elements by looking at their properties.


Periodic Table of Elements
Physical Science - Elements

Teacher Notes:

 Most of the "elements" that we see in advertisements are really combinations of elements (compounds). In this exercise the students will learn the characteristics of certain elements. Please note that some of the items may not be 100% pure, but they still exhibit the characteristics of that element in its pure state.

In this lab, the students will be use elements to experience their properties.  You may want to use the materials as stations, so one set can accommodate an entire class.  Students should rotate to the appropriate materials to answer the questions on their lab sheet.

If you have sets of elements already, create your own questions.   The goal is to get students familiar with using the Periodic Table regardless of the sample.  


Note:  these answers are derived from the Periodic Table from Painless Learning; some of the answers will vary depending on the Periodic Table you use

  1. A.  transitional, yes, because they have similar valence and right next to each other on the Periodic table;  B.  Aluminum, nickel, cobalt; C.  neodymium, iron, boron

  2. Fe, 26, 55, 847, 26,30, 26;  1s22s22p63s23p3d64s2  A.  They are attracted; B.  it moves when lodestone moves around it; C.  they are magnetic; D.  yes, north, the Earth behaves as a magnet (force in north goes toward south);  E.  yes, rotation of the Earth on its axis produces a magnetic force that generates from the north and it becomes back through the south

  3. Ni, 28,58, 69,28, 31, 28  (Ar)3d84s2   A. it is attracted to the magnet; B.  nothing; C. no, true nickel is magnetic, 5 cents was made out of more nickel than it is today (less than 5%); D.  these 3 elements are naturally magnetic

  4. Cu, 29, 63.54, 29, 34, 29, [Ar] 3d84s1

    A.  it lights up because it conducts electricity;  B.  it lights up the light, pennies have copper in them, and it allows electricity to conduct

  5. Si, 14, 28, 14, 14, 14,   [Ne] 3s23p2

    A.  they have a “scalloped” look (it is called concoidal fracture), yes [although obsidian is composed of silicon dioxide, it fracturing takes on the characteristic of the element silicon)  B. silicon

  6.  Pb, 82, 207.19, 82, 125, 82  [Xe]4f145d106s26p2

    A.  yes  B.  you can compare the color and ease of  writing (otherwise it is difficult)

  7. Al, 13, 27, 13, 14, 13,  [Ne] 3s23p1

    A.  light in weight, gray, bendable;  B.  aluminum, light weigh and abundant,  iron would rust and not good for drinking liquids, and nickel is too hard and expensive

  8. S, 16, 32, 16, 16, 16, [Ne] 3s23p4

    A.  slight, but if you scratch the surface and it reacts with oxygen in the air… it will smell more… it has a rotten egg odor  B.  a slight rotten egg smell; sulfur; C.   sulfur gives it the yellow look, iron gives it the dense feel

  9. C, 6, 12, 6, 6, 6,  1s22s22p2

    A.  graphite is softer than the anthracite,   B.  graphite


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