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The Periodic Table: States of Matter, Chemical & Physical Properties

Context for this Lesson

Teaching Strategies: 

Topic: The Periodic Table: States of Matter, Chemical & Physical Properties
Purpose: To reinforce the characteristics of metals, metalloids, and non-metals, and to understand how they are related to the periodic table.
Prior Knowledge: A basic introduction to metals, metalloids, non-metals, as well as the periodic table.

  • Large white paper
  • Markers
  • Campaign examples- posters, slogans
  • Campaign planning worksheet



Players stand in a circle with the leader in the center. The leader points to a player and calls out a shape or a direction. The possible calls are:

·      A shape: The leader points to a player and calls a shape. That player, plus the two players on either side of him or her, rushes to make the shape before the leader counts to three. For example, if the leader calls “Elephant,” the player pointed to makes a long trunk with one arm, while the peoples on either side each form an ear in a “C” shape. Possible shapes include: Toaster: The player pointed to jumps up and down in place (the bread), while other players hold hands across his/her front and back to make the toaster. Elephant: The player pointed to makes a long trunk with one arm, while other players form ears in a “C” shape on either side.

·      “Donkey:” The leader can also point to a player and call “Donkey,“ which simply means to freeze in place.

·      Bippity, bippity, bop: When the caller says “Bippity, bippity bop” the player pointed to must say “Bop” before the caller does. If caller just says “Bop” the player must say nothing.


Once students have learned the regular version of the game, tell them we are now going to create some new images. Ask what makes a good image in this game (two people on the outside doing similar thing, something three people can do that doesn’t hit neighbors, etc.). Our new images will be related to matter. Ask students what are the states of matter? Collectively create an image for gas. Then divide students into four groups and ask them to create images for liquid, solid, element, and compound. Come back as a group to share images and play again.




Say to students, who knows what’s happening in the US next week? (the election) Yes! In the election, voters get to choose between different people. How do those people try to win votes? What do they do before the election to convince people to vote for them? (campaigns- speeches, travel, ads, etc) Yes, they campaign. Show some examples of campaign signs and slogans. Ask students to share what makes it an interesting sign or a catchy slogan.


Today we’re going to do our own form of campaign. In a minute, we will divide you into small groups. As a group, you will receive a topic that you will create a campaign for. You will work with your group to create a campaign slogan and poster for your topic. We’ll share our slogans and signs at the end of class.


Invite students to get into their assigned groups. Give each group either metals, metalloids, or non-metals as the term to campaign for. Hand out the Campaign Worksheets to each group. For their given term, students should create a slogan that promotes and explains the topic. After the group has created a slogan, they may use a poster board to create a campaign sign that includes the slogan and the topic name. Everyone in the group should contribute at least one mark to the poster. 


Once groups have finished their campaign slogan and posters, invite them to decide what they need to say to pitch their campaign to the class. Each group member should say one thing about their campaign (or in support of it) to the class. Have each group share for the class.


Reflection on group campaigns:

·      What do you take away from the slogan? The poster?

·      What’s important about this topic? Why should you know about it?


Describe: What did you do to create your campaign?
Analyze: What challenged you about campaigning for your topic? What was particularly convincing about other topic campaigns?
Relate: Beyond presidential elections, what else do people campaign for? Do you ever campaign for something?