Arrangement of the Periodic Table


question mark.gif Driving Question: How is the periodic table of elements arranged?

WOW! Look at all these pieces we have to put together! How in the world will we ever be able to arrange them? Take your best shot! 


 This puzzle was 81 pieces! Imagine if you had to sort and arrange more than that? How would you do it? Let's look into how some people from history have sorted a group this big!


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Watch this video and explore the genius that went into organizing the periodic table.




Okay, Let's dissect the periodic table. 

Elements on the periodic table are arranged by the way that they behave. The periodic table is one of the most useful tools to a chemist. Based on an elements position on the periodic table, one can infer a wealth of information about that element's properties.

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Parts of the Periodic Table

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Spanning the periodic table are three categories of elements: metals, nonmetals and metalloids.

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Let's look even closer... 


Elements on the periodic table are grouped so that elements in the same column have similar chemical and physical properties. This relationship exists because elements in the same group have the same number of valence electrons. Let's look at the properties of each group:

Group 1: Alkali Metals (excluding hydrogen)

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—Group 2: Alkaline-earth Metals

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—Groups 3-12: Transition Metals

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Inner Transition Metals



Groups 13-16: Groups with Metalloids

Elements in these groups are a mixture of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids and, therefore, have a mixture of properties.

Group 13: Boron Group - have 3 valence electrons and typically form cations with a +3 charge

Group 14: Carbon Group - have 4 valence electrons; tin and lead at the bottom of the group can form ions with a +2 or +4 charge, but carbon most often does not form ions

Group 15: Nitrogen Group - have 5 valence electrons and typically form anions with a -3 charge (They need to gain 3 extra electrons to complete their valence shell.)

Group 16: Oxygen Group - have 6 valence electrons and typically form anions with a -2 charge

Group 17: Halogens


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Group 18: Noble Gases

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An Element in a Group of its Own: Hydrogen





As you can see, there is a wealth of information about the elements on the periodic table. Make sure that you can identify the various regions and groups on the periodic table. Also, be able to identify how many valence electrons and the charge formed by elements in each group. 

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Explore a Periodic Table and fill in the crossword with the element that the clue is describing. Before you start, you will want to have a Periodic Table handy to look at: Open this Interactive Periodic Table in a new window so you can flip back and forth to complete the crossword.



Activity adapted from web site




This lesson contains a LOT of information. Make sure that you have taken extensive notes and are quite familiar with the arrangment of the periodic table.

Can you answer today's question?

How is the Periodic Table of Elements arranged?

Your Tasks

Items to be Submitted

1. Read, take notes, study, and work to memorize the ideas about how the Periodic Table is arranged.


2. Spend a little time working on your Science Fair Proposal that is due soon!