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November 22, 2019

Friday Fun: 150th Anniversary of Periodic Table


You may know this, but it was news to me that 2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, and it’s the 150th anniversary of the development of the system that groups elements on the periodic table. 

This brief Gale blog post offers some background and highlights a game called the Periodic Table of Elements Spelling Bee. 

Of course, there are many articles in the Gale statewide databases about this topic, including…

    • Periodic Table” in Kids InfoBits, which could be followed up with the game, “Name That Element” (use table from “Periodic Table” article)
    • Periodic Table” in In Context: Middle School
    • Periodic Table” by Michael G. Roepel in In Context: High School
    • Brief mention of which elements combine to make the different colors in fireworks in “By the Numbers” in National Geographic Kids
    • If prompted for a password, use the password portion of your Gale login.

The anniversary probably explains why articles about the periodic table have popped up in my social media feeds lately. A Mental Floss post by Michele Debczak highlights “The Periodic Table of Elements, in Pictures and Words” by Keith Enevoldsen, which shows that the element called tantalum is used in mobile phones, for example. This Science magazine webpage by Mary Soon Lee describes each element with a haiku poem; hover over an element to see the haiku, like this one about hydrogen: 

            Your single proton
            fundamental, essential.
            Water. Life. Star fuel. 

Maybe your students want to write a #ChemHaiku, play the Name That Element game, or try the element spelling bee. These are just some ways to add to students’ understanding of the periodic table of elements and for you to support science and STEM in the library. 

Happy Friday. 


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
State Library of Oregon