4 Tricks to Help Kids Learn the Periodic Table
When you teach the subject of the chemical elements in school, everything becomes a jumble of numbers, letters, and symbols. But once you understand it, it begins to make perfect sense because it’s perfectly ordered. It’s only necessary to learn a series of tricks to help kids learn the periodic table and your children will handle it perfectly.
First, let’s learn what it’s all about, and then we will learn to decipher its secrets. Don’t miss it!
What is the periodic table of the elements?
“The periodic table of chemical elements is one of the most important achievements of science, capturing the essence not only of chemistry, but also of physics and biology.”
-United Nations, 2019
The periodic table was created by chemistry professor Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. This model was later expanded and improved and is the basis of the tool we know today.
The table scheme arranges the different elements and presents us with the following data and symbols:
- Letter or letters identifying each element
- Atomic number
- Chemical properties
- The electron composition
The columns of the table are called groups or families and the rows are called periods. In total, we find 118 elements arranged in 7 rows and 18 columns.
In short, there’s a lot of information! And that’s why we’re going to help you make it easier to learn the periodic table
Discover the best tricks to learn the periodic table for kids
Choose the method your child’s most comfortable with from the following. Read and try them all until you find the right one.
1. Use mnemonics
Using phrases to remember the elements is a very effective trick to memorize the table.
With a series of words, you can easily remember the first element of each column in the correct order.
Try putting together your own sentences or stories to implement this method!
2. Build a concept map
Schemes or concept maps are great for learning by association. To make them, you can use common words and associate them with chemical elements.
Another way to use this method is to make a concept map with everyday images associated with the elements, instead of words. A good source for this is the table with pictures created by physicist Keith Enevoldsen: The Periodic Table of the Elements, in Pictures. It’s available on his site for download in pdf format.
3. Try the Loci method
The word loci means ‘place’ in Latin, so you can imagine what this method is all about: Associating the place where you are with the elements of the table. You can do this at home, on a daily walk, or at school.
This strategy is known as the “memory palace“ because it activates memory and creates knowledge through associations.
5. Take advantage of technology
Playing online games is a valid trick for learning. There are many games that use the periodic table and even allow for self-assessment and progress checks.
Why learn the periodic table of the elements?
Surely, with any of the methods that we’ve explained, your child will quickly learn the periodic table and pass their exams without problems. But it’s also good to explain to them in a practical way the real usefulness of this knowledge.
A good idea is to relate the periodic table to some everyday element. For example, food or medicine labels.
This way, children will find more meaning in learning about the elements. In addition, the periodic table will lose its mystery and become something useful for everyday life.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Rodríguez-Blas, T., de Blas, A., Latorre-López, M., Picos-Nebril, S. (2021) “F ind Y nuestra P ersonal E LEMENTOS ”: un enfoque de acoplamiento a la introducción de Química a estudiantes de la escuela secundaria. Revista de Educación Química. Disponible en: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00002
- Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas (2014) Proyecto ChemMend Un juego de cartas para aprender la tabla periódica. Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología. Disponible en: https://www.agenciasinc.es/Noticias/Un-juego-de-cartas-para-aprender-la-tabla-periodica
- Zulfikar Abbany. (2017) ¿Por qué tengo que memorizar la tabla periódica de los elementos? Deutsche Welle Ciencia y Tecnología. Disponible en: https://www.dw.com/es/por-qu%C3%A9-tengo-que-memorizar-la-tabla-peri%C3%B3dica-de-los-elementos/a-39499233
- United Nations (2019) Acerca del Internatinal Year of the Periodic Table 2019. Disponible en: https://iypt2019.org/about-iypt2019/