Work samples


Year 10


How to use the Periodic Table

Summary of task

Students were asked to create a 'How to use the Periodic Table' guide which details the trends of the Periodic Table including the chemical background of one particular Group or Period. Students were asked to consider types of elements, ions and the electronic structure of atoms in their explanations. They were given the following questions to guide the discussion of their chosen group of elements:

  • Why are the elements in the same row or column?
  • What are the properties of the Group or Period?
  • Why do the elements have similar properties?

Students were further asked to explain at least three uses in the real world of the elements within their chosen Group or Period and how our knowledge over time has influenced their usage. They were to assume that the completed guide could be given to a student as a learning aid.

Students worked individually on their 'how-to' guides over the course of several lessons and as homework. They were free to choose any digital medium they considered most suitable to convey the information, such as a poster, presentation, magazine article, pamphlet, comic book, interactive web-based solution, or video.

This task was given at the end of a teaching and learning unit on the structure and use of the Periodic Table of elements. As part of this unit, students revisited and deepened their understanding of the internal structure of atoms, learned about different types of elements and how to understand the symbols used to represent them. Students also learnt how the electronic structure of elements is the source of their similarities and differences, and how this is reflected in the structure of the Periodic Table.

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 10, students analyse how the periodic table organises elements and use it to make predictions about the properties of elements. They explain how chemical reactions are used to produce particular products and how different factors influence the rate of reactions. They explain the concept of energy conservation and represent energy transfer and transformation within systems. They apply relationships between force, mass and acceleration to predict changes in the motion of objects. Students describe and analyse interactions and cycles within and between Earth’s spheres. They evaluate the evidence for scientific theories that explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on Earth. They explain the processes that underpin heredity and evolution. Students analyse how the models and theories they use have developed over time and discuss the factors that prompted their review.

Students develop questions and hypotheses and independently design and improve appropriate methods of investigation, including field work and laboratory experimentation. They explain how they have considered reliability, safety, fairness and ethical actions in their methods and identify where digital technologies can be used to enhance the quality of data. When analysing data, selecting evidence and developing and justifying conclusions, they identify alternative explanations for findings and explain any sources of uncertainty. Students evaluate the validity and reliability of claims made in secondary sources with reference to currently held scientific views, the quality of the methodology and the evidence cited. They construct evidence-based arguments and select appropriate representations and text types to communicate science ideas for specific purposes.

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