Chemistry Unit – Middle School

New Update to the Chemistry Packet!

Chemistry Unit The Periodic Table Ions Isotopes Bohr Diagrams and more

What’s in this unit?

This 150+ page Chemistry Unit helps middle school students understand the periodic table, valence electrons, periods, groups and basic vocabulary such as ions and isotopes. Students are introduced to the structure of the periodic table, Bohr Diagrams, Lewis Diagrams and electron configuration in a fun, hands-on way!

What ages is it for?

My kids covered this material several different times in late elementary & middle school and of course, have gone into even more depth when they worked on high school chemistry.

This is a unit, we’ve covered a several times when the kids were 10-14 or so (plus, I just added in new material that my high schooler used this semester.)

How long does the Chemistry Packet take?

This is a unit we covered most every year during middle school.  Each time we spent about two to three weeks on the material and we went into more depth each year.  You might want to cover all the topics in this 150+page unit this year or you might want to return to it another year and go into a bit more depth (and review what you covered the previous year).  Plus, as I said above, I added in some material that I used with my high schoolers as well. 🙂

The First 20 Elements and Elements with Unusual Symbols:

There are two chemistry booklets on the first 20 elements and on elements with unusual symbols in this packet. My youngest worked on these pages when she was in 5th grade.

Chemistry Activities - The first 20 elements - unusual symbols

She used a beautiful book about the elements by Theodore Gray Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe   (affiliate link) as a reference. It has huge pictures of the elements as well as pictures of items that use this element.

Booklet and the book - Elements A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the UniverseThis booklet had her find out: the atomic number, atomic weight, period and group numbers. Plus, there was some space for her to write some basic facts about each element.Chemistry Booklet on the first 20 elements

Building Molecules Activity

My 5th grader also spent some time building molecules.

Molecular Model KitPeriodic Table Activities

When my older two kids were in middle school we really into depth about the periodic table and how it is set up. This exercise was designed to have THEM figure out how to organize it (so don’t let them look at a period table when you start this activity!!)

In the packet, there is a student instruction sheet on how to color the elements. This activity includes the first 36 elements.

Hands-On Chemistry Activities - The Periodic Table We talked about Mendeleev, who was the first to develop the periodic table and discussed how challenging that must have been.  I told them that Mendeleev knew quite a bit about the properties of the various elements… and with their color-coded cards, they had considerable information too.  They had to build the periodic table.  The teacher notes (pictured below right) explain some of the hints I gave them on the way, but they did a great job with it as you can see from the pictures above! Along the way, the students took notes on the observation page (seen below in the middle) about the families they were looking at. (For example, they pretty quickly figured out that the blue elements were all metals — like iron, copper, zinc, etc.).  They also saw that the yellow cards all had one little electron in the lower left corner.

Note: There are cards for the elements 1 (hydrogen) through 36 (krypton) included in the Chemistry Packet.

Chemistry Unit - Building the Periodic Table ActivityNext we went over the parts of the atom (nucleus, protons, electrons, nucleus, etc.).

Bohr Diagrams

We did another hands-on activity to introduce the kids to valence electrons. I handed the kids Bohr Diagram cards that were the same size as the element cards from the activity above.  I divided the cards among the kids and had them place the cards on top of the cards below.

Note about Bohr Diagrams: By the 1920s, scientists were convinced that the Bohr atomic model was incorrect, but they are useful. Bohr diagrams are used by chemistry teachers to introduce students to quantum mechanics because of their simplicity. They can help you understand how electrons are organized into discrete energy levels.

Chemistry Unit - Bohr Diagrams Valence Electron Activity - Parts of the Atom worksheet 2Then, the kids had to observe the kids and see if they could find any trends:

  • each row/period added on “shell” (or ring) around the nucleus
  • each column/group had the same number of electrons in the outer ring (except for helium)

Note: There are Bohr Diagram cards for elements 1 (hydrogen) through 20 (calcium) included in the Chemistry Packet.

Hands-On Chemistry CardsThe next day, the kids did a cut-and-paste activity with those same Bohr Diagrams.  We used this chart a lot as we continued on with this unit because then they could easily see how many valence electrons were in the outer shell of the elements!

They also did the worksheet I made for them which has them look at the number of shells and number of valence electrons various elements have.

Bohr DIagrams - Valence Electrons -Worksheet and ActivityWe went on to talk about some of the information in the Periodic Table such as atomic number, atomic weight, chemical symbols & the element names

Chemistry Unit - Periodic Table Worksheet - atomic number atomic weight chemical symbolWe also talked about some of the groups of the Periodic Table – alkali metals, alkaline Earth metals, halogens and noble gases.  We talked in quite some depth both about the general properties of these groups and also about some of the properties of the elements themselves:

Chemistry Worksheets on the Alkali Metals, Alkaline Earth Metals, Halogens and Noble GasesWe went on to talk about Lewis Diagrams. These are similar to Bohr Diagrams, but only provide information about the valence electrons (the outer electrons of an element). By this time, the kids were able to whip through this worksheet (using the Bohr Diagram cut-and-paste activity above):Lewis Diagram WorksheetWe did a *really* fun activity when we explored Lewis Diagrams! My kids were stunned when I brought out bowls of Fruit Loops (not a regular item on my grocery store list, LOL!!!)

Lewis Diagram Activity - Chemistry Hands-On ActivitiesPeriodic Table – Metal – Nonmetal – Metalloid

Our next topic was about metals, nonmetals and metalloids and how this information can help us understand different types of bonds that are formed. We talked (briefly) about covalent and ionic bonds.  We talked about that in covalent bonds electrons are shared, which in ionic bonds atoms give their atoms away.  It was beyond the scope of this unit to go into much more detail than this, though I did touch on electronegativity charts. We looked at the Pauling Table and talked briefly about how that chart can help scientists determine/understand the types of bonds that are formed. (There is a page about that in the chemistry packet.)

Periodic Table - Metals – Nonmetals – MetalloidsWe did a review activity. The kids created an interactive notebook piece for their science notebooks about the Groups of the Periodic Table. The kids cut out examples of one Bohr Diagram for the groups, plus they cut out descriptions of each group. Your student can use the information provided or write their own description for each group.  There is an answer key provided (but not pictured below!).

Chemistry Interactive Notebook PIece - Groups of the Periodic TableThe chemistry packet has some matching cards for some of the unusual chemical symbols that the kids memorized.  We also touched on some of the trends in the Periodic Table (though we really didn’t go into that much detail… that will come when they do high school chemistry).

Chemistry - Trends in the Periodic Table Worksheets - Unusual Chemical SymbolsOne afternoon, I brought out some ping-pong balls and cups. The kids thought that was funny and enjoyed trying to bounce the ball into the correct cup! 🙂  Below you can also see some of the chemistry review cards I made for the kids (with many of the terms they learned during this unit… from proton and neutron to halogen, covalent bond, and anion and atomic number.

Chemistry Unit ReviewYou might end your chemistry unit there or you can go on to talk about electron configuration.

With my older two (and now with my youngest, age 13), we talked about electron configuration & electron notation.  (For example, oxygen is 1s2, 2s2, 2p4 — does that ring a bell from you high school chemistry days?!)

My kids thought it was tricky at first, but then quickly got the hang of it.

I have just updated this section to add in a number of colorful sheets (that go along with the s-block, p-block, d-block and f-block colors on the reference pages):

Electron Configuration Worksheets - Chemistry UnitI included some pretty in-depth teachers notes. Of course, you can always email me if you have any questions!

Here are a few close-ups of this material:

Electron Configuration Activities - WorksheetsElectron Configuration Worksheets for the Transition MetalsSome of the topics we explored in this Chemistry Packet included:

  • Building the Periodic Table
  • Bohr Diagrams & Understanding Valence Electrons
  • Periods, Groups & Families
  • hydrogen & the alkali metals, alkaline Earth metals, halogens, noble gases
  • Atomic Number, Atomic Mass & Chemical Symbols
  • Lewis Diagrams
  • Metals, Metalloids and Nonmetals
  • Unusual Element Symbols
  • Trends of the Periodic Table
  • Electron Configuration

Do I need any specific books with this unit?

No, our notebook pages and worksheets include answer pages and teacher notes.  There are several chemistry resources I’m glad I had on hand, though

Chemistry Resource BooksUnderstand Basic Chemistry Concepts – I originally got the free version on my Kindle, but I liked it so much I felt I had to have the book itself!  Chapters 1 and 2 are especially useful with this unit.

Chemistry Homework Helpers by Greg Curran – This is fairly advanced (and I didn’t use it with the kids), but was really useful for me as the instructor.

Glencoe Chemistry Matter and Change – I purchased quite a number of used high school chemistry textbooks (8!! Crazy right?!!) and after going through these, the one textbook we wound up using a lot (for my high schoolers) was this textbook. It has all the answers to the practice problems in the back (not just the odd answers!).  We used this A LOT when my kids covered high school chemistry, but I was glad I purchased it when my kids were in middle school so I could use it as a reference.

One Mom asked if this packet is suitable for someone with little to no chemistry knowledge.

Here was my answer! Yes! I provided all of the answers and actually added in quite a number of teaching hints along the way. I designed the activities so that the kids discover some of the patterns of the Periodic Table themselves. (That’s why Bohr Diagrams are really useful, if a little outdated in our knowledge of atoms!)

In this packet, I have a general guide at the beginning of the packet of what we did on day 1, day 2, etc. b/c I thought some parents might want a bit more guidance. I tried to make it pretty straight-forward (so even wrote out instructions for what I said to the kids on certain days and what hints I gave to help them discover the answers/patterns for themselves. 

The Chemistry Packet is $7.99. Our units are PDF downloads. Check your PayPal email address for the download link, but if you run into trouble or if you have any questions, feel free to email me! ~Liesl

Be sure to check out the Chemistry Bundle option below!

Chemistry Packet: $7.99

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

Hope you enjoy this unit and learn as much as we did! ~Liesl

Chemistry Unit - Worksheets Chemistry Cards Interactive Notebook Piece - Periodic Table Valence Electrons and More

Find out more about the Chemistry BUNDLE here or scroll down below.

Chemistry BUNDLE

$6.99 Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter Unit (see bundle option) Matter: Elements, Compounds, Mixtures;   Organization of the Periodic Table;   Molecular vs. Structural Formulas;   Describing Matter: Physical and Chemical Properties;   Density Activities – Mass÷Volume;   Mixtures: Solutions, Colloids and Suspensions (suggested for grades 5-8)

Properties of Matter - Elements Compounds Mixtures - viscosity density and more Properties of Matter Worksheets Activities - elements compounds solutions

$5.99 Electricity and Circuits STEM Unit (suggested for grades 5-8) This is a fun, hands-on unit! My daughter did this in 6th grade and really loved it!

Electricity Unit Electricity and Circuits Hands On Activity IdeasConductors and Insulators Squishy Circuits ActivityElectricity and Circuits Worksheets and Activities

  $5.99 States of Matter Packet (For younger students – early elementary K-2 or so)

States of Matter Packet

Our units are PDF downloads. Be sure to check your PayPal email address for the download link. Feel free to email me if you have any question or problems! ~Liesl

New! Chemistry BUNDLE purchase these 4 units together

  • States of Matter Packet
  • Properties of Matter Packet
  • Electricity & Circuits Packet
  • Chemistry Packet

Chemistry BUNDLE


Be sure to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

Chemistry BUNDLE

You can also purchase these 4 packets separately

$5.99 States of Matter Packet

$6.99 Properties of Matter Packet

$5.99 Electricity & Circuits Packet

$7.99  Chemistry Packet

Click on the link to see more details about each of these units:

States of Matter

States of Matter Unit - worksheets and activities

Properties of Matter Unit

Properties of Matter - Elements Compounds Mixtures - viscosity density and more

Electricity & Circuits UnitElectricity Unit

Chemistry Packet: The Periodic TableChemistry Unit The Periodic Table Ions Isotopes Bohr Diagrams and more

These packets can be purchased together or separately:

$28.99 Biology BUNDLE of 5: 1) Biology Unit (Biomes, habitats, food chains/webs, feeding relationships) 2)  Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Packet 3) Ocean Unit & Layers of the Ocean/Ocean Zone Activities 4) Cells Unit 5) Botany Unit

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