Rock Cycle - Chemistry (1)
Post Lab 

  • Learning that matter is made of elements.
  • Introduction of the periodic table.
  • element
  • matter
  • periodic table
  • Periodic Table Placemats
  • worksheet

Students use the Periodic Table of the elements.

Yellow sulfur (an element) is forming on the surface of this lake


Students may start to ask what matter is made of. Matter is everywhere. All matter is composed of either single elements or combinations of elements (compound). An element is a substance that cannot be broken down into simpler materials by normal chemical methods. It is the smallest unit into which matter can be divided and still retain its fundamental characteristics.

The purpose of this exercise is to reinforce the idea that common substances are made of elements or combinations of elements.

  1. Pass out the Periodic Table Placemats. Display the periodic table image in the presentation, or use a poster of the periodic table if you have one. The students will see that there are 109 elements at the present time. The students should have already heard of some of them. Elements such as iron in your blood, calcium for strong bones, and fluorine (fluoride) in your toothpaste are frequently used on television and radio commercials.
  2. Discuss how elements are common in our lives. On the board record the following elements, which students may have heard of , or any other ones you think they might recognize. Ask the students to find the elements on the placemats as you are mentioning them
    O = oxygen (what we breathe)
    Au = gold (jewelry)
    = silver (jewelry)
    = aluminum (foil)
    = calcium (for strong bones)
    = copper (pipes)
    = iron (pots and pans)
    = sodium (salt)
    = chlorine (household cleaners)
    = helium (balloons)
    = fluorine (toothpaste)
  3. Allow the children time to illustrate their favorite element on the worksheet provided. Ask them to write their special element's atomic symbol.

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