Elements and the Periodic table

Unit 3 Overview

In this unit, students learn about elements, atoms, and the Periodic table through the core questions:

  • How do you know if your water is safe to drink?

  • How have we used the composition of water to determine the temperature of the earth?

First, students look at how we determine the temperature of the earth in the distant past. Next, students try to build their own table looking for patterns in element cards. Students then look at properties of elements which are divided into metals and nonmetals. Students talk about how electrons can only exist in certain places on an atom and complete a flame test activity. Finally, students end the unit with an engineering project examining water quality to determine if it is safe to drink.


updated unit 3 daily activities

  • Day 1 - Ice cores / build an atom / water safety

  • Day 2 - Create a table

  • Day 3 & 4 - Graphing periodic trends

  • Day 5 - Metal, Nonmetals, Metalloid Lab

  • Day 6 - Flame test inquiry

  • Day 7 - Periodic trend theater

  • Day 8 - Assessment (click here to request access to this folder. Please note you will need to verify that you are teacher who completed the summer course)

  • Day 9 - Water quality testing: Engineering project