Types of Elements Activities for Middle School

Instructor: Rachel Tustin

Dr. Rachel Tustin has a PhD in Education focusing on Educational Technology, a Masters in English, and a BS in Marine Science. She has taught in K-12 for more than 15 years, and higher education for ten years.

Teaching students about the types of elements on the periodic table doesn't have to be dull. You can use it as an opportunity for students to apply their inquiry skills and creativity.

Teaching the Types of Elements

Are you searching for a new way to teach the periodic table's three types of elements: metals, non-metals and metalloids? While you can lecture students on the elements' properties, that is not really the most engaging way to help students understand their differences. Instead, why not have students put their inquiry skills to work analyzing samples and arriving at those properties themselves?

Using Conductivity to Differentiate Types of Elements

To students, all the elements on the periodic table can look overwhelming. So when you are trying to teach them to differentiate elements on the periodic table, an easy way to do it is to use conductivity. Students can use simple circuits to test their samples if you don't want to invest in conductivity meters.

Have students work together in small groups on this activity.

Materials

  • Samples of various metals, non-metals and metalloids on the periodic table (label the samples A, B, C, etc.) The more samples the better.
  • Gator clips
  • Small Christmas lights cut apart and the wires striped at the end
  • D-batteries
  • D-battery holders

Procedure

Begin by explaining to students that they will be testing each sample for conductivity, and they will later use the data to classify their samples. Then model for students how to set up a simple circuit and test a sample.

mselement1

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support