What can the periodic table tell us?

4-15a: Through gaining an understanding of the structure
of atoms and how they join, I can begin to connect the
properties of substances with their possible structures.
Collect a learning outcomes sheet and
stick this into your jotter
What does this show us?
Remember that all the elements have been
given their own symbol to help us identify
Every element also has its own number.
This is known as its atomic number. Going
through the periodic table the atomic
number of the elements increase by one
each time.
Use the periodic table in your data book
to complete the table in activity 1.
Stuck? Ask for the help sheet
Element Name Symbol Atomic Number
The Periodic Table above shows most of
the elements that have been discovered.
But why does the Periodic Table have this
funny shape?
This can be explained by
looking at the work of a
famous Russian chemist
called Dmitri Mendeleev. He
was born in 1834 and in
1869 he came up with the
shape of the periodic table
despite only knowing about
56 elements, clever stuff!
So how did he do it?
Dmitri knew how heavy the elements were
and he also knew their chemical properties
(how they reacted) and he noticed that
some elements had similar reactions.
Activity 2
My observations…
Activity 3
You are going to complete a task similar
to that of Dmitri to see if you can come
up with the same shape.
1. Each card has an element symbol and
atomic number on it. Elements of the
same colour undergo similar chemical
2. In your group try and arrange the
elements in atomic number order, keeping
elements that undergo similar chemical
reactions together.
3. Be careful, some elements may be
Based on what you have found out answer
the following questions:
What do you notice about the order of
the elements in the periodic table?
What do you notice about elements in the
same column in the periodic table?
What do you notice about the order of
the elements in the periodic table?
The elements are arranged in order of
increasing atomic number
What do you notice about elements in the
same column in the periodic table?
Element in the same column of the
periodic table have similar chemical
A column in the periodic table is known as
a group and a row is known as a period.
This is because each period shows a
repeating pattern of the one before it.
Activity 4
Stick in the periodic table and add labels
to show the names of different parts of
the periodic table as listed next.
Some of the groups in the periodic table
have been given names.
The group 1 elements are known as the
alkali metals.
Group 2 elements are called the alkali
earth metals.
Group 7 elements are known as the
Group 8 (group 0) are called the noble
The block in the middle between groups 2
and 3 are known as the transition metals.
Can you remember where the metals and
non-metals are on the periodic table?
Mark on the zigzag line that separates
the metals and non-metals.
What Dmitri Mendeleev made as the
Periodic Table is not the only way we have
to arrange the elements. In fact some
scientists think that a round Periodic
Table is a better way to arrange the
Activity 4b
Collect a sheet for the activity and follow
the instructions carefully.
Which way of arranging the elements do
you prefer?
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