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Unknown and Well Known

Use Crayola® Colored Pencils and Crayons to display the chemical elements of the periodical table on large, colorful information cards.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to research one of the first 18 elements of the periodic table. Find out its individual characteristics, such as its symbol, how heavy it is, whether it usually has a color, or if it has an odor. Find out where this element can be found in everyday items (for example, lithium is in batteries).
    2. Students design a card for their elements. Use Crayola® Scissors to cut a 6-inch (15 by 15 cm) square from colored construction paper. Write the element's name in large letters with Crayola Crayons. Use symbols and phrases to list the element's characteristics.
    3. On the back of the card, use Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils to list where this element exists in well-known items.
    4. Share information about the elements with classmates. Put all of the cards together on a table or attach magnetic tape on the back to display on a magnetic board. Work together to classify the elements according to similar properties. How many different ways can they be arranged?
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

    LA: Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.

    SCI: Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Periodic Table: Elements with Style! by Adrian Dingle; The Mystery of the Periodic Table (Living History Library) by Benjamin D. Wiker; DK Eyewitness Books: Chemistry by Ann Newmark

    Students select one member of the Periodic Table of Elements to research in-depth. In preparing to present research to classmates, each student will dress up as a representative of the Periodic Table, using recycled materials as able. Student presentations should include all pertinent information concerning the element and where it is found in nature as well as where it is found in man-made products.

    Invite students to create a poem about their selected element. Poems should be hand-written or word processed and illustrated for classroom display.

    Encourage students to create a personal booklet of the first 18 elements in the Periodic Table. Bind the booklet using yarn.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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