Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Periodic properties
Name of the teacher
Elena Margheri
Country where it took place
School typology
Vocational School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Periodic properties are studied in the first and in the second year of the secondary school. In the first year, we focus our attention on empirical considerations based on the reactivity of the elements, following Mendeleev approach. During the second year, we correlate the properties of each element with its electron configuration in a more theoretical approach. This approach is scarcely appreciated by the students and they hardly understand its importance in predicting reactivity and chemical-physical properties of elements and compounds.
In the second year, after a brief introduction of these properties to the class, I found useful to divide students in groups of 4-5 persons, which were involved in producing a research about the three subjects I considered simpler and helpful to introduce the chemical bond, that is:
1) ionization energies of elements with Z from 1 to 18;
2) all the 18 ionization energies of argon;
3) Linus Pauling’s life (the father of electronegativity and chemical bond).
Students had to analyse the information they found, with particular attention to measure units, trying to define them and to find the conversion factor.
At the end, one student for each group was asked to relate the results, possibly using presentation software and tables just to have a quick and less boring exposition.
The second issue of the research revealed difficult to be completed, since usually only the first 8th ionization energy values are collected in tables.
On this argument, the students had to spend more time and I had the chance to observe different behaviours and different skills among them.
Then, we compared results found in 2 different web sites: and
This activity was mostly satisfactory and the following discussion allowed most of the students to comprehend electronic configuration; furthermore, it was interesting to observe that students liked very much to know everything about Pauling’s life, dealing gladly with chemical bond. This less scientific aspect moved very much also more fragile students, inspiring energy and motivation, thus confirming that emotional involvement is important in teenagers for a successful study.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.11.26

Posted by Elena Margheri (Italy)

Thank you Anita, for your comment.
I've proposed this activity to 15-16 years old students, who everyday use social network to find information, thus inviting them to a different use of the net.
Anyway I don't think that every chemical concept could be always easily related to the everyday experience, but if you have any specific suggestion to share with me, I would like to propose it to my students.
Thank you again.
Best regards, Elena MArgheri

Date: 2014.11.23

Posted by Anita Krismane (Latvia)

In order to successfully be able to analyze the information must understand the specific application.
Understanding promotes motivation. Would like to propose a more universal method - to build a model for understanding chemistry concepts to student's experience of childhood, home or situations of everyday life, which explains the similarity of the basic concepts of the chemical complex.


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.