Chemistry Unit: The Periodic Table

This semester we did a new unit on chemistry and focused on the Periodic Table.

We typically use secular resources, but I previewed Chemistry 101: An Overview of God’s Chemical World over the summer on the recommendation of a close friend. It is a wonderful resource. I found the video to be really well done (the kids really enjoyed it) and while there were a few references religion (especially in relation to the scientists’ religions through the ages) and to God’s design at the end of episode 8, the material itself was covered clearly and in an engaging way. I highly recommend it; feel free to email me if you have questions. I felt it was well worth the price, even though we only used the first two discs. (The material that follows is a bit advanced for my kids.) I don’t think I could have covered this same material in such depth (and with such good explanations, pictures, and analogies) without this DVD.

The video we watched started with an introduction to many of the early alchemists and chemists. The first six segments explains how scientists contributed to the growing knowledge of chemistry. It highlighted some of the contributions made by Boyle, Lavoisier, Dalton, Farday, Newlands, Mendeleev, Crookes, Thomson, Roetgen, Bequerel, Curie, Rutherford, and Moseley. It was really fascinating and we did some of the experiments suggested and laughed quite a bit with the narrator’s quick humor.

Chemistry-Candle-Experiment-hsdEach segment was about 45 minutes. Most of the time we watched the first half one day and the other half another day.

Part 7 was on the main groups of the periodic table.  I really liked his comparison of the periodic table to crayons (with each column being a similar shade).  In that way, elements in the same column have similar properties.  The kids colored in the columns on their own periodic tables as he highlighted some the four outer columns

  • Alkali Metals — reactive
  • Alkaline Earth Metals
  • Halogens
  • Noble Gases

Chemistry-Periodic-TableFrom there we spent quite a bit of time using the workbook Elements and the Periodic Table, Grades 5 – 8: What Things Are Made of. (affiliate link)  I actually bought about a half-dozen chemistry workbooks from Amazon, but this was the one that worked best for our family (esp my older daughter, age 10 and son, age 12).

Elements-and-Periodic-TableWe used the pages on

  • Elements, Compounds, Mixtures, pp. 16-18
  • Elements in our Body p. 19
  • Elements in Seawater p. 29

and I also printed out both booklets (which were about 10 pages or so) for the kids. One booklet was on the uses of elements and the other was on organizing the elements.

ED (my youngest) is in Grade 2. She and I read Real Science-4-Kids Chemistry pre-Level I which has individual sections on elements, compounds and mixtures, but on a level that worked for her (at age 7).  She also watched the video, though I recommend it more for older kids.RealScience4Kids-Chemistry-PreLevel1As we finished the episode 8 (The last episode of the second disc. We will not use discs 3 and 4 at this time.) it had a wonderful explanation about how the Periodic Table is organized.  To make sure the kids understood all that material, I made some worksheets about Bohr Diagrams.  We went over those together:

Bohr-DiagramsIf you are interested you can download these free sheets over at this post: Bohr Diagram Worksheets

Bohr-Diagram-Practice-Sheets

Giveaway! (Now Over) One more thing before I go. Did you know there was an IMAX film produced by the Molecularium® Project (scientists and professors from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)?  Well, I was contacted recently and they offered to provide one of my readers with a copy of  Molecules to the MAX! It is a 42-minute animated, Giant Screen adventure film on DVD.  Stay tuned for details about that Giveaway in the near future (Nov. 2015)!!

Molecules to the Max is available here (affiliate link) or read our review here.

Molecules-to-the-Max-DVD

So, that’s about it!  This unit took us about 8 weeks, though we worked on chemistry generally twice a week.

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to newsletter.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

Other chemistry posts that may be of interest:

states-of-matter-solid-liquid-gas-worksheets-and-hands-on-activities

physical-chemical-properties-of-matter-density

ChemistryReviewPictures

BuildingMoleculesSee you again soon here or Homeschool Den Facebook page. Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! ~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

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2 Responses

  1. viv says:

    wow I have been playing catch with your posts , and it is now 2 am i am supposed to be in bed but i cannot stop . Liesl our kids are same age and you have been great inspiration for me in my homeschool journey . I cannot stop reading , thank you so much for sharing so generously with us xx viv

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