This is the first lesson where you will meet the periodic table. You will see how atoms are structured in the periodic table depending on their electron orbital configuration.
This lesson is a part of MEL VR Science Simulations. Learn more →
element, atom, atomic number, nucleus, protons, electrons, electron configuration, shell, s-orbital, p-orbital, d-orbital, periods, noble gases
- Learn that there are 118 different chemical elements discovered at the moment
- Learn what elements are arranged in the Periodic Table according to their atomic number
- Study that the atomic number is the number of protons in an atom’s nucleus, which is equal to the number of electrons in the atom
- Learn that rows in the Periodic Table correspond to an electronic level, as soon as the level is full, new elements appear on the next row (level)
- Find out that the rows of the Periodic Table are called periods
- See that neon is the element with a completed electron shell and is similar to other noble gases
- Learn that the position of the element in the Periodic Table provides the information about the electron configuration of the atom
The elements on the periodic table are arranged by increasing atomic mass
- The aim is to give students an idea that elements in groups have similar chemical and physical properties because they have similar numbers of electrons in their outer shell. Show students how Li, Na and K react with water.
- The aim is to show students how they can categories different objects similar in properties. Ask students to sort a set of bolts and nuts in different sizes (3-4) made out of plastic, stainless steel, and brass (discuss that they can be categorized by size or by material).
History and sources of knowledge
- Early attempts to find out natural laws explaining the properties of elements.
- Dalton and Newlands ideas.
- Mendeleev breakthrough: table arrangement showing periodicity in properties.
- Prediction of new elements.
Topics to discuss
- Good scientific explanation not only describes observations but makes predictions.
- Outer electron shell as a source of periodicity.
- Outer electron shell determines chemical properties.
- Group 0, group 1 and group 7 electron configuration and chemical properties.
Fun facts and quotes
- There were approximately 50 elements at the time when Mendeleev created the Periodic Table. He left some boxes empty, expecting that new elements would be discovered and predicted their properties. And they actually were discovered and the prediction of properties matched perfectly.
- New elements are discovered regularly, all of them unstable.
- The only letter not in the periodic table is the letter J.
- Almost 75% of all elements in the Periodic Table are metals.
- Of all 118 known elements, only two of them are liquid at room temperature: bromine and mercury.
- What is a period in the periodic table?
- What is a group in the periodic table?
- Why do elements in groups have similar properties?
- What are noble gases?
- How many electrons does nitrogen have?
- How many elements are in the second period and why?