Concept: The periodic table is organized so elements are arranged in columns based on the number of valence (outer) electrons available for chemical reactions. Therefore, the elements in the columns have similar behavior.
Lesson begins with empty, huge periodic table on wall. The s (left two columns), p (right 6 columns), d (10 columns across the middle), and f (14 columns at the bottom) blocks are separate sheets that have 5.5" squares printed on butcher paper that is laminated. See the downloads below.
Periodic Table Templates ZIP (in PDF format)
Create three grasshoppers from different sized paper squares. Make a hypothesis as to which grasshopper will "hop" the best. Practice hopping the grasshoppers and then hop each one 5 times, Record the data and figure out which hopped the best. Discuss how you measured "best" ie- which variable were you measuring to evaluate the hops? List as many variables (things that were different or that changed) as you can. See the lesson plan download.
This experiment is fun, but really messy, be prepared! Which food is stickier? After gathering the needed equipment, the lesson begins by placing a spoonful of sticky food on the bottom of a cup and then sticking the cup to a plate. While moving the cup/plate in different orientations, the teacher would explain that the students need to figure out how to unstick the plate from the cup using washers (or other weight without pushing, pulling, twisting etc). They can also shove the washers between the cup and plate. They are to use the washers as passive weights to unstick the cup from the plate. See the lesson plan download.
Supermarket Chemical Reactions in Zip Lock Bags
In this lesson, students design their own experiments with chemicals obtained from supermarkets. Reactions are done in sandwich zip lock bags for safety. The experiment is expressly designed to allow students to generate their own testable questions, test their questions and discover the various indicators of chemical reactions. This lesson is appropriate for grades four and up. See the download for this lesson plan.
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