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In this hands-on activity students examine “everyday” chemicals” and use the Periodic Table to determine which elements make up the chemical, they determine if the chemical is a compound or element and then compare the characteristics of the elements to the resulting compound. Students record their findings in a spreadsheet, or hard copy data table. Following the hands-on portion of the activity students complete a series of worksheet questions.
Students begin to learn element symbols and begin to learn to use the Periodic Table. But just as important, they are learning:
1) The difference between an element and a compound.
2) How to read chemical formulas.
3) The elements that make up “everyday” chemicals.
4) That these everyday chemicals are primarily made of the same few elements.
5) That the characteristics of compounds are different than the characteristics of the elements of which they are made.