This lab I use as the introduction to the elements of the periodic table. Students are given samples of seven different elements (only 1 shown in the preview...) and are asked to observe four different physical and three different chemical properties. Students then share data as a class, and then determine the most common properties for metals and non-metals based on their observations. There are a series of questions asking students to make predictions about other elements, as well as a compare/contrast section.
Included are teacher materials and tips, as well as an "answer key" for what should be observed by the students.
This does require the use of a few chemicals that need to be disposed of properly (nothing terribly dangerous, but please abide by local disposal methods). Certainly if you need help obtaining any of the chemicals listed here, I can give you ideas of where to find them (if you don't have a favorite chemical supply company or well-stocked storeroom).