The Composition of Matter

Starting the Day

Start things off with the Composition of Matter bellwork to see what your students know and where they'll be confused.

As you transition from the states of matter to discussing elements and the periodic table, keep in mind that students will need plenty of time to absorb and understand what you're telling them. This is not intuitive material! The periodic table is logic but not something anyone will know by instinct.

Composition of Matter Activity

The activity for this lesson has your students examine an element from the periodic table and put into practice the things you taught them. It's a simple activity but will probably take some time for your students to complete as there will almost certainly be confusion and lots of questions.

Guide them through the vocabulary and the logic behind the periodic table and they'll have good foundation in basic chemical concepts.

Results & Outcome

The goal for the lesson is to get your students grounded in the concepts of states of matter, elements, compounds and atomic structure. This lesson will be built on throughout the year so make sure your kids are at a good point of understanding the subject matter when they leave. Emphasize that they'll be using this knowledge regularly; give some examples of future topics that will need this information if you have time. Hopefully they'll see that this isn't just an abstract set of information about matter, elements and the periodic table!

Video Resources

A couple videos you can play to give your kids additional time learning the concepts of the periodic table. The first video has a couple small errors. One, which is pointed out, is that Ga is said to be radioactive, in fact it isn't. Another minor one is that microchips are not 'stamped' into silicon, they are etched in via photolithography.

Free Resources For This Lesson

Here are your free materials for this lesson!

Composition of Matter Editable Documents

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