Blog Post 4

Thank you for viewing my text set on the periodic table.  I would focus this to be chemistry students that are grades 10 and 11.  I wanted to set this up as a refresher text set for the students, but also feel strongly that it could be an introductory to the periodic table for those that are not familiar with it.  I wanted to start with the basic knowledge which is just the history of how the periodic table was developed. I wanted to start here because I wanted to make sure the students in the hypothetical classroom are all on the same page.  It introduces them to the periodic table and makes them familiar with it, while also giving them history. Then I wanted to work into alternatives to the periodic table. There are numerous alternatives and some are well functioning. This will give them alternatives that if they should choose to could use instead of the typical one that is in classrooms.  The next part I wanted to cover was to give an interactive periodic table. This gives them the ability to click on every element. They are then brought to the elements wikipedia page, giving them lots of information on that particular element. Then I wanted to show a bit about how the periodic table can be used. We can use it for numerous things but only touch base on the trends to keep it simple.  When a topic like valence electrons is covered I can go back to many of these materials to help reinforce the content knowledge. Lastly I wanted to find two pieces that would give some relevance to the periodic table. The first can be used as a time-piece. Right now all over social media everyone is putting out memes about Area 51. A Netflix documentary has gained lots of popularity that documents Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar.  Since the documentary itself is long, and has inappropriate language sprinkled in I decided that instead of that documentary I would include an article that is the crux of his claim on element 115. The last article is more real life applications of how elements are used in a device that has become a staple in life, and that is the cell phone.

The Periodic Table History: The Mendeleev Story

Crash Course Chemistry, (2013, March 3rd), The Periodic Table: Crash Course Chemistry #4.

This video goes through the entire history of Russian scientist Dimitri Mendeleev.  It details a quick synopsis of him growing up in Russia and how his mother wanted him to receive the best education.  Then it goes into how the periodic table came to be, and how ingenious Mendeleev really was. It also describes his skeptics. 

Text Complexity: 8.5

Qualitative: The language used is very accessible to the target audience without losing any meaning.  It’s also widely accessible by students as it is a free resource on YouTube.

Vocabulary: catalog, elements, atomic weight, relationship, reactivity, periods. 

Purpose: This is a great introduction to the periodic table.  There is a lot of information that is given, but is done so in a more entertaining way.  Since there is a lot of information that is given I would supplement this video with targeting texts.  Things for students to pay attention to and address the main takeaways from the video. The students don’t need to know Mendeleev history but I think anytime there’s an ability to humanize or connect science topics with personal relationships we should as it fosters a greater understanding.

Question: Why does learning the history help our understanding of the Periodic Table?

Different Variations on the Periodic Table

Chemistry Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved from


This is a blog post from Azmanam.  It has a quick tutorial on different variations on the periodic table.  It also has pictures along with the descriptions as to why this alternate is shaped the way it is.  It’s a great tool for compiling alternatives that kids can be aware of if the current model does not work for them.  Azmanam also does a great job in giving the justifications and reasoning behind the modifications that were made to each one individually. Then within the text there’s another hyperlink that sends you to a database that has many many more listed.

Text Complexity: Grade 8.6

Qualitative: This is very accessible reading.  The language is very toned down and we can see that from the text complexity score of grade 8.6.  There is some academic vocabulary inside the reasonsings but I think it’s still very accessible.

Vocabulary: lanthanides, actinides, horizontal, vertical, configuration, 

Purpose: The purpose of this is to show alternatives that are out there. If the current model is not working for them they can visualize the periodic table in different forms.  In particular an activity could be done at the end of the periodic table lesson where we are able to make the 3-D periodic table. This will help solidify any misconceptions that the first column and final column are separated by a lot, when in actuality their properties are fairly closely related.

Question: Why would some of these models be more beneficial for use?

Interactive Periodic Table

This is an interactive map of the periodic table.  There is so much useful information in this interactive map that it’s downright amazing.  It would be able to be used in almost every topic that’s covered in a chemistry class. It has electron configuration, electron spin, isotope, orbital shape, and common compounds found with any particular elements.

Text Complexity: Grade N/A due to how this text will be used.

Qualitative: This is another text that would be more visual.  Since when clicking on an element on the table it brings you to the elements wikipedia page.  The wiki pages are pretty advanced and use lots of academic language that would be far more advanced than my students accessing it.  But it gives so many useful tools that are accessible like the electron configuration, electron spin diagram, orbital probability, families and groupings.  Although the in depth text would be too high of a text complexity, I think the surface tools are appropriate for the age level.

Vocabulary: properties, orbitals, isotopes, compounds, solid, liquid, gas

Purpose: The purpose of this is to give a very in depth and interactive map to introduce students more into elements themselves.  As students select different elements on the table they are directed to the wikipedia page for that element, along with pictures.  Also it is another visual that can really help with it comes to orbital shape, isotopes, and compounds. It is a very useful too that will help with many different components of chemistry in general all within the shape of the periodic table.

Question: What are some relationships we start to see when it comes to columns and rows?

Trends of the Periodic Table

Mr. Causey. (2011, April 9). The Periodic Table Trends.

This video goes through and explains the trends of the periodic table.  They layout four trends that are found within the periodic table and explain what they are.  They use graphics to help explain them as well as definitions of the actual trend that is being investigated.  They also focus well on the real main points of the trends and biggest take aways really well. Also how these can be applied.  How they are useful.

Text Complexity: Grade 10.2

QualitativeThis text is very accessible.  There is academic vocabulary that is used, but I still think even without prior knowledge to that particular vocabulary it is accessible. 

Vocabulary: Affinity, Radii, Ionization, energy, electronegativity, trend 

PurposeI would use this piece to show the trends of the periodic table.  This is a pretty visual topic as it is, as it it’s normally covered with a picture with arrows shows the direction that the trends are going.  It’s also typically just given in terms of definition of the trends without any real explanation as to what is actually going on. This video does a great job of explaining in more detail as to what the actual trends mean.  I also think it’s the weakest source, and would need to probably be redone, removed, or repaired pretty quickly, but still think its highly effective for now.

Question: How can we use these trends to help our understanding of chemistry?

Bob Lazar: Area 51

The Editors of Publications International, L. (2018, June 28). Bob Lazar, UFO Hoaxster. Retrieved from

Bob Lazar is a person who claims to have worked at Area 51.  He claims that his main role was to reverse engineer the propulsion system of the at least nine space craft that United States had hidden away at Area 51.

Text Complexity: Grade 11.5

Qualitative: It’s a very short piece, and I think shorter is always better.  The text complexity says it’s a 11.5 grade, but I don’t think that’s necessarily accurate.  Due to it’s extremely short length I don’t see why any student above the 6th grade wouldn’t be able to digest this information successfully.

Vocabulary: extraterrestrial, anti-gravity reactor, hangar, gravity, propulsion, synthesize

Purpose: The entire purpose of this piece is to set it in their world.  Social media is in a frenzy over Area 51 things right now, in large part due to the Bob Lazar documentary on Netflix.  Plus there is also the facebook page that has over 1 million signatures of people that are going to storm Area 51, with the amazing logic of “They can’t kill us all”.  I think it’s a fascinating time piece, and can be easily interchanged with any piece that is more relevant for any year. This has to do with the periodic table because Mr. Lazar whole claim surrounds this mysterious element number 115.  Which is an unstable earth synthesized element named Moscovium. I could see this being an entire class time reading his claims, and the background then debating whether we think he is credible or not. I think that’s the important piece, not whether he is right or wrong (we will literally never know),  but taking a look at credibility.

Question: Based off the given information do you find Bob Lazar and his claims to be credible? Why or why not.

Cell Phone Chemistry

Smartphones: Smart Chemistry. (n.d.). Retrieved from

This article goes through some of the technology that has become commonplace.  I think it’s particularly interesting and important to have at least a ground level understanding of the technology around us.  There is no more prevalent technology right now that screens and cell phones so I thought this would be a great article to go over how so many elements found in the periodic table have found great uses within one device.

Text Complexity: Grade 12

Qualitative: The text complexity hit this one right on.  As I was reading it I contemplated whether or not the language used was too tough or not.  I decided to use it because it is an easily accessible article that comes from a highly credible source.  It is lengthy, and does dive into some more challenging chemistry ideas. But I wanted to include a more challenging piece.  This can help them further their textual understanding.

Vocabulary: rare, metal, amorphous, crystalline, electrical, conductor

Purpose: The purpose of this text is to link the periodic table, and the elements to their everyday lives.  Cell phones are such an critical part of day to day life and society that the technology is always overlooked and negated.  This piece will help them gain an appreciation for how scientists have harnessed different elements and used their properties in ingenious ways to create one of the most important and crucial items in all of human existence.

Question: Why do we find it important to have a ground line understanding of the objects we use everyday?

Published by kdbartel21

UWM Student in the Education field. Chemistry is my jam.

Join the Conversation


  1. Kyle, there’s almost a running conspiracy / alternative reality theme in these, which I must admit draws me in, although I don’t believe such things. Mendeleev was trying to understand God through the Periodic Table, Bob Lazar and his element 115, and the alternative Periodic Table layouts really drew me in. I would like to have had more information on the actual element 115, Moscovium, as a rebuttal. Those high molecular weight, unstable elements were always fascinating. And the trends, like in the video you included, have always interested me and made the table so fascinating. You approach the Periodic Table from a variety of angles here, and even though I’m already interested in the topic, you’ve made me want to learn even more.


  2. Kyle,

    One of the things I appreciate the most about all of your blog posts is that you’ve maintained this honed focus on the periodic table. I think it’ll really help you and help your future students. I think all of your texts are really interesting – I’m a fan of interactive periodic table and the crash course chemistry video. Most of all, though, the Area 51 stuff is awesome. Everyone is OBSESSED with the raid memes right now. Utilizing that in your teaching is amazing and something I never would have thought about doing – and that’s how you keep kids interested in your class! Overall, great job.


  3. I really appreciate your approach to the periodic table, I agree the history (and humanization) is important but providing alternatives is a great way to help your students really understand / get what they need from the periodic table. Using a 3-d periodic table is a great way to help students visualize the relationships between elements, I would have loved to have had this resource when I was first learning the periodic table. The interactive model is spectacular, what a great way to connect somewhat nebulous concepts such as orbital shapes to the “tangible” periodic table in class. Understanding trends in the periodic table is essential to it’s usefulness, I think the video you chose does a great way of explaining them while catching the students attention, plus its something they can watch at home! Nice area 51 tie in, I will definitely have to check that movie out!


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