Physical Science: Elements

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Physical Science: Elements
Teacher's Guide
 Grade Level: 68     Curriculum Focus: Physical Science      Lesson Duration: 34 class periods



Program Description
There are 91 naturally occurring elements, and another 25 that are created artificially. The atoms of
an element are specific to that element, having a particular number of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
Most elements combine with others to form compounds, such as water (hydrogen and oxygen). It's the
many combinations of elements that make for the variety of substances in the world. Keeping track of
all the elements would be difficult were it not for the handy periodic table, which organizes the
elements by atomic structure. Hydrogen, the simplest of elements, always exists as a compound.
Hydrogen fuels both stars and the rockets that reach for them. The light bulb is a study in practical
elements. Because tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal, it makes the perfect material for
the filaments that--once electrified--glow with white-hot light. Inside the bulb's glass is not oxygen
but argon, used because it won't react with the tungsten filament. Carbon is the stuff of diamonds and
the stuff of life. The process by which diamonds are created and extracted is slow and arduous. It's no
wonder the flashy gems are so valued. In a fireworks display, the elements are showcased. From the
propellants to the colors to the patterns, a fireworks show is a chemical extravaganza.




Discussion Questions
      What is an element? How many elements exist naturally and artificially?
      What is a compound? Name some examples of compounds.
      What is the periodic table, and how is it organized?
      What element only exists as a compound on Earth and is the fuel of stars?
    Explain how a light bulb works and what elements make it possible.
      What is an allotrope, and what are some allotropes of carbon?
      Describe the process by which diamonds are created and extracted.
      How are elements used in the making and displaying of fireworks?




Lesson Plan
Physical Science: Elements
Teacher's Guide                                                                                        2



Student Objectives
      Be able to define an element and a compound.
      Understand how elements are organized in the periodic table.
      Create a new periodic table after looking at some that feature unique twists on table design.

Materials
      Computer with Internet access
      Print resources about elements

Procedures
   1. Interactive online periodic tables make understanding elemental organization easier than ever.
      Let students explore element and table basics at these sites:
              Wikipedia's Chemical Element
               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_element
               and Periodic Table
               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table
              How To Read the Periodic Table
               http://web.buddyproject.org/web017/web017/pertab.html
              WebElements Periodic Table, Scholar Edition offers a wealth of information and fun
               facts available by clicking on any of the element blocks
               http://www.webelements.com/webelements/scholar/index.html
   2. After they've had a chance to explore the table online, have students answer these questions:
              Who devised the periodic table? (Dmitri Mendeleev)
              What is a "group" in the periodic table? (one of 18 vertical columns)
              What is a period? (one of seven horizontal rows)
              What does the atomic number represent? Give an example. (The atomic number is the
               number of protons found in the nucleus of the elements' atoms. The atomic number for
               Potassium is 19.)
              What information is found in the table's boxes? Give an example. (Each box represents
               one element and has that element's atomic number, symbol, name, and atomic mass.
               For example, silver has an atomic number of 47, the symbol is Ag, and the atomic mass
               is 107.8682.)


              What is unique about elements 117 (ununseptium) and 118 (ununoctium)? (They are as
               yet "undiscovered," but scientists expect to create them in a lab someday.)



            Published by Discovery Education.  2005. All rights reserved.
Physical Science: Elements
Teacher's Guide                                                                                        3



       For additional activities to give students more in-depth table knowledge go to the Science Spot's
       Chemistry Lesson Plans at http://www.sciencespot.net/Pages/classchem.html#Anchor-ptable.
       There you can find several lessons germane to the elements, along with printable worksheets
       and online links.
   3. After all their hard work in deciphering the periodic table, students deserve to have some fun.
      In the process they'll reinforce the general concepts already covered. Explain that they will
      work as a class to develop a "new" periodic table, organized any way they like. For examples of
      fun and funky tables, they can check out:
              The Periodic Table of Comic Books
               http://www.uky.edu/Projects/Chemcomics/
              The Periodic Table of Haiku
               http://www.iscifistory.com/scifaku/elements/periodichaiku.asp
              The Periodic Table of Rejected Elements
               http://www.schneertz.com/elements.html
              The Visual Elements Periodic Table (requires the Flash plugin)
               http://www.chemsoc.org/viselements/pages/pertable_fla.htm
       Some ideas for tables include a periodic table of literature in which element boxes feature a
       quotation from literature mentioning the element. The periodic table of movies and television
       could highlight elements referenced in shows or movies. The periodic table of bling bling
       would feature useful or desirable qualities of elements. If you wish, you could also have
       students write their own elemental poems, as in the haiku table. Or they can have fun coming
       up with their own rejected elements. The possibilities are bound only by your students'
       imaginations. The class doesn't have to come up with 116 boxes for their new tables; one for
       each student will work well.

Assessment
   Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
          3 points: Students were highly engaged in class discussions; conducted thorough research
           and answered all questions correctly; created an imaginative "new" periodic table.
          2 points: Students participated in class discussions; conducted research and answered most
           questions correctly; created a good "new" periodic table.
          1 point: Students participated minimally in class discussions; conducted minimal research
           and answered few questions correctly; did not contribute much to the "new" periodic table.




Vocabulary




            Published by Discovery Education.  2005. All rights reserved.
Physical Science: Elements
Teacher's Guide                                                                                          4



       allotrope
       Definition: One form of an element that can exist in several forms
       Context: Carbon allotropes include graphite and diamonds.

       chemical compound
       Definition: A substance created by the bonding of two or more elements.
       Context: Once a chemical compound--such as water--is formed, it is difficult to separate the
       compound back into its original components.

       element
       Definition: A substance that consists of atoms that all share the same number of protons
       Context: There are 91 naturally occurring elements and 25 artificial ones.

       kimberlite
       Definition: A type of rock formation where diamonds are found
       Context: Kimberlite takes its name from Kimberley, a city in South Africa where diamond mines
       were discovered.

       noble gas
       Definition: Also called inert gas, meaning it does not react chemically with other elements
       Context: The noble gases are found in Group O of the periodic table and include helium, neon,
       and radon.

       periodic table
       Definition: A chart originally devised by Dmitri Mendeleev that organizes chemical elements by
       atomic structure
       Context: The periodic table groups elements so that those with similar properties are in the same
       column or group.

Academic Standards
   National Academy of Sciences
   The National Science Education Standards provide guidelines for teaching science as well as a
   coherent vision of what it means to be scientifically literate for students in grades K12. To view the
   standards, visit this Web site:
   http://books.nap.edu/html/nses/html/overview.html#content
    This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
          Physical Science: Properties and changes of properties in matter



   Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)




            Published by Discovery Education.  2005. All rights reserved.
Physical Science: Elements
Teacher's Guide                                                                                      5



   McREL's Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K12 Education
   addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks, visit
   http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/browse.asp
   This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
          Science: Physical Sciences--Understands the structure and properties of matter
          Language Arts: Viewing--Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret
           visual media; Reading--Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a
           variety of informational texts




Support Materials
Develop custom worksheets, educational puzzles, online quizzes, and more with the free teaching tools
offered on the Discoveryschool.com Web site. Create and print support materials, or save them to a
Custom Classroom account for future use. To learn more, visit
              http://school.discovery.com/teachingtools/teachingtools.html
Also find more Discovery lesson plans devoted to elements at:
              Elements
               http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/elements/
              Elements and Compounds
               http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/elementsandcompounds/




            Published by Discovery Education.  2005. All rights reserved.
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