Earlier this week, one of the science teachers I follow on Twitter retweeted an activity posted by AACT. The activity was called The Periodic Table of Mistakes. At first glance, it looks like a regular periodic table, but there are actually 25 mistakes hidden within the table.
I right clicked on the image and selected “Open Image in New Tab” so I could zoom in and try to spot the 25 mistakes embedded in the periodic table.
Seeing Omg and JK on the table made me giggle, and I knew that I had to find a way to use this activity with my physical science students. My physical science students did basic chemistry first semester and basic physics second semester, so it’s been a while since we did anything with the periodic table.
Next week is the last week of the school year, so lately we’ve been just doing a hodgepodge of activities since students have been gone for every possible event under the sun.
I took the image of the periodic table of mistakes and placed it in an 11 x 17 Publisher file that I exported as a PDF. Then, I printed the file on some 11 x 17 cardstock
If you are looking to save a bit of money, you can also pick up a package of 11 x 17 sheet protectors for a much cheaper price! They won’t be quite as durable, but students can still write and erase with their dry erase markers.
When my students came to class, I had them split into five groups since I had printed five periodic tables. Each group was instructed to grab a dry erase marker and a dry erase pocket with the periodic table of mistakes inside. I told each group that there were 25 mistakes hidden in this periodic table and it was their job to find them.
MATH = LOVE RECOMMENDS…
I cannot imagine teaching math without my dry erase pockets! They instantly make any activity more engaging and save me countless hours at the copy machine since I can use the same class sets of copies year after year.
Here are my current go-to recommendations:
They began to eagerly search for their interactive notebooks that held their copy of the periodic table. When I informed them that there were no references allowed, they moaned and groaned. They insisted that they wouldn’t be able to find any of the mistakes on their own. I ignored their pleas and instructed them to get to work.
There were soon excited squeals and giggles coming from the groups as they found various mistakes. I instructed them to circle each mistake as they found them. A prize was offered to the team that identified the most mistakes correctly from the periodic table of mistakes.
After five to ten minutes, I had the students stop. I used the answer key provided by AACT to go over each of the 25 mistakes. They put stars by the mistakes they had identified correctly. If I remember correctly, the winning group found 18 of the 25 mistakes.
My students didn’t think that the mistakes that involved changing the atomic mass were very fair at all. None of them noticed any of those.
This activity can be downloaded from AACT here.
More Resources for Teaching the Periodic Table
- Periodic Table Activities Collection
- How the Periodic Table Really Looks Activity
- Odd One Out Chemistry Activity
- How to Read the Periodic Table Poster
- Element Quiz Generator
- Element Bingo Activity
- How Many Elements Can You Name Quiz
- Periodic Table of Mistakes Dry Erase Activity
- Chemistry Gossip Activity
- Periodic Table License Plate Project
- Chemical Symbol Foldable
- How to Read the Periodic Table Foldable
- Periodic Table War
- Sweet 16 Periodic Table Tournament
- Periodic Table of the Elements Project