1. Activity: Periodic Trends Jigsaw – Activity
  2. Activity Notes:  Periodic Trends Jigsaw – Instructor Notes
  3. Activity Data: Advanced Periodic Trend Data

This year I used the periodic trends activity in two classes, inorganic (as a review) and the Chemistry & Climate course.  The activity was slightly modified in both courses:

Activity Modifications

I updated the activity to follow the format of the 5E’s of inquiry learning we’ve been using to frame our in-class activities.

Inorganic: These students were given much less time to study their plots since this is a review.  They also were given “advanced data” to analyze on their own outside of class.  The report was five paragraphs with an extra paragraph explaining the “advanced data”.

Chemistry & Climate:  Because we have both a MWF and TR section, we had to make some modifications.  The MWF section was given their data to look at on Wednesday BEFORE they did the activity on Friday.  This actually turned out much better.  I think for an introductory course, it is a good idea to give them more time with the data.  We also introduced the following leading questions (or prompts) to help them summarize their data.

  1. Define the property
  2. Establish the scale (e.g., more positive = more favorable)
  3. Describe the general trend as you move across a period and down a group
  4. Describe any exceptions to the trends
During the in-class discussion, we also used these questions to frame the discussion:
  1. Which properties depend on the electron configuration? Why?
  2. Which properties do not depend on the electron configuration? Why?
  3. What underlying principle explains trends across the period?
  4. What underlying principle explains trends down a group?

For both sections of Chemistry & Climate, the report was four paragraphs (no “advanced data”)


In all three classes the discussion was very good.  As expected understanding the trends and exceptions were most complex with Electron Affinity.  For this reason, I think it is a good idea to start with this concept.  Once the class establishes an understanding of EA, the others come much more easily.

Another observable, is that the students ask many more questions than in the past, when I have taught this through lecture.  It helps immensely that they’ve had time to engage with the concepts and talk to each other about it.

Students in Dr. Lisse’s Friday section generated very good drawings on the board.

More on this after we read the reports.



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