Periodic Table Project

Periodic Table of Legos

Students choose a topic and select items to incorporate into a periodic talbe. Students explore trends related to their own topic and relate to the trends on the actual Periodic Table of Elements.


Periodic Table, Periodicity, Periodic Trends

Time required: 

I provide my students 1 and 1/2 weeks to complete this project. Most students do not need this much time. I provide the extra time for those students who do not have adquate internet/computer access.


You are to construct a periodic table on a topic of your choosing. Of course, it must be approved by me. (It must be a socially acceptable topic!) Beads, musical groups, photographs, fish, types of soccer balls, Legos, shoes and basically any other item you can think of would work! Be creative!

This is due: _______________________


Here are your guidelines:

  1. It must contain 4 periods and 8 families of a representative (short) periodic table. You do not have to include any “Transition elements.”
  2. The items in vertical columns (groups) must be similar in some manner and have some variation and gradual change as you move up or down the column. In other words, it should exhibit periodicity. Label each group by family name.
  3. You may get pictures from the internet, magazines, catalogs, use your own photos or actual objects. The numbers used must be searchable or actual data collected by you.
  4. You must have an abstract that explains your periodic table. It needs to explain the trends in your table. You must explain what each column or family in your table represents, what the trend or periodicity is as you move across a row (period). You need to explain how your trends compare to the trends in the actual periodic table. Make sure to include your name on the abstract. Please be sure to reference any sources used. These should be included in the abstract.
  5. A key (sample element box) must be attached to the front of your table.
  6. At least one graph describing a trend going down the families and one graph describing a different trend going across the periods must be included.
  7. Your table can be any size larger than 50cm X 50cm and smaller than 1m X 1m and all the items must be secured on the table. I need to be able to move it without it falling apart. I suggest using foam board or another stiff backing for your table. The table needs to be able to stand if leaned against the wall. Neatness counts!
  8. Remember to pick up your table within a week after it has been graded or it may be disposed of. J



Extra Credit Options:

  • You may add an extra period so that your table has 5 periods. (2 pts)
  • You may add transition metals in the appropriate spot in the period #4. (2 pts)
  • You may do both of the above for a total of 4 points extra credit.



Depending on the technical skills of your students, you may wish to walk students through creating graphs of the atomic radii trend across the periods and down the groups on excel before having students begin this project. The students will then take the same steps to create graphs of the trends on their own table.


I have modified this from a project presented at a Michigan Science Teacher Association Conference many years ago. I have added the graph section and spend time in the computer lab teaching those students who are less than proficient with excel how to graph. A quick search of the internet brings up hundreds of similar activities that are written to different grade levels, but most that I looked at do not require a graph to summarize the trends..

Image icon periodic table of purses.png973.4 KB


Students who demonstrate understanding can construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.

[Clarification Steatement: Examples of chemical reactions could include the reaction of sodium and chlorine, of carbon and oxygen, or of carbon and hydrogen.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to chemical reactions involving main group elements and combustion reactions.]

*More information about this category of NGSS can be found at