The periodic table of elements is key to understanding and mastering chemistry concepts. These periodic table activities are fun and engaging, and you can use many of them with both younger and older students. Pick a few to try in your own classroom!
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1. Start with an anchor chart
The periodic table is an ingenious construction, but it takes a little explaining. These anchor charts explain the layout and details and are excellent references to use throughout all your periodic table activities.
Learn more: Scholastic
2. Explore an illustrated periodic table chart
Teachers love this chart, and for good reason. It brings the table to life, helping chemistry students understand the role each element plays in the world around us. You can print copies of it for free, or buy posters and card sets. There’s even an interaction version!
Learn more: elements.wlonk.com
3. Color and learn about the elements
You can use this clever coloring book for all kinds of periodic table activities. Try a few free printable pages from author Teresa Bondora’s site here. If you like them, buy The Periodic Table of Elements Coloring Book on Amazon .
4. Sing a periodic table song
Though kids don’t necessarily need to memorize the periodic table, songs like this one can help if they want to try! We love this new up-to-date take, but the old Tom Lehrer classic from 1959 is lots of fun too.
5. Build a model using egg cartons
Love a good recycled craft project? This is the activity you’re looking for! Save up egg cartons and use them to build a periodic table model.
Learn more: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
6. Create an elements card deck
These free printable cards are terrific for reviewing the elements, especially if you’re working on memorizing some or all of them.
Learn more: Homeschool Creations
7. Make pipe cleaner element models
Gain a deeper understanding of the construction of each element by making models with pom poms, beads, and pipe cleaners.
Learn more: Teach Beside Me
8. Find the elements to win the game
Familiarize yourself with where each element is located on the table, along with their abbreviations, with this simple (and free) point-and-click computer game.
Learn more: Mr. Nussbaum Learning + Fun
9. Go on an elements scavenger hunt
Send students on a search for real-life examples of the various elements. They’ll be surprised at how easy it is to find so many of them.
Learn more: Pinay Homeschooler
10. Make a periodic table of giant tiles
This classic research project comes together in a giant periodic table display. You can use poster board, or add a 3-D element by creating the tiles on pizza boxes instead.
Learn more: missmiklius
11. Play periodic table Battleship
Here’s another fun game to help familiarize kids with where various elements are found on the table. Learn how to play at the link.
Learn more: Teach Beside Me
12. Turn elements into superheroes (or villains)
This is such a fun twist on the usual element research project. Students learn more about the characteristics of their element, then decide whether it’s a superhero—or a villain!
Learn more: Morpho Science/Teachers Pay Teachers
13. Download the Atomidoodle app
This cool little app, available on both the Apple AppStore and Google Play, challenges students to draw paths through mazes. They use fusion (addition) and fission (division) to create new atoms, all while learning hundreds of facts about the elements.
Learn more: Atomidoodle
14. Sort “periodic people” into a table
This clever activity gives students the chance to see how Mendeleev sorted the elements to create his brilliant periodic table. Get it for free at the link.
Learn more: Sunrise Science
15. Put the periodic table on your ceiling
Make use of every last bit of your classroom space by turning ceiling tiles into an enormous periodic table! Adhesive vinyl works well for this ambitious project.
16. Solve The Mystery of the Periodic Table
Middle school readers will enjoy this tale of the development of the periodic table, learning about the various scientists involved along the way. Buy The Mystery of the Periodic Table on Amazon here.
17. Get to know the Element characters
Each element has its own set of characteristics that could almost be called its personality. That’s the idea behind these incredibly fun cards, which imagine the elements as living characters. You could use a set of these for all kinds of periodic table activities.
Learn more: Elements—Experiments in Character Design
18. Defeat a periodic table escape room
Escape rooms are all the rage, and they’re a lot of fun in the classroom too. Create your own set of chemistry-based challenges, or buy this ready-to-go periodic table escape room on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Learn more: Kesler Science
19. Make periodic table pixel art
In this free interactive program, students answer questions about the elements to unlock squares on the periodic table, creating a pixel picture. Bonus: Have kids create their own pixel pics using the table!
Learn more: Teaching Above the Test
20. Put together colorful tiles
These colorful pieces interlock to create an interactive puzzle you can use for lots of different periodic table activities. Buy the set at Amazon.
21. Compete at periodic table Bingo
Bingo is always fun, but this version helps you learn the various abbreviations of the elements too. Make your own cards, or buy a pre-made set at the link.
Learn more: STEAM Powered Family
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