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Lesson Plans Library 9-12 > Physical Science
Periodic Table of the Elements Transition Metals III
Periodic Table of the Elements Transition Metals III
Grade level: 9-12 Subject: Physical Science Duration: 2 class periods
 



lesson plan support
Objectives
Students will
  • Identify the transition metals on the periodic table of the elements and describe their characteristics.
  • Predict what will happen when one transition metal is mixed with water and sealed in a bag.
  • Describe the results of the investigation and explain how it illustrated a property of one of the transition metals.
Materials
  • Transition Metals IIprogram
  • Newsprint and markers
  • Copy of the periodic table of the elementsFor each group
  • 1 tablespoon iron filings
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vermiculite (available in garden shops)
  • 1 teaspoon tap water
  • 1 resealable plastic bag
  • Measuring spoons
Procedures
  1. Prior to the start of the class, decide how to handle the distribution of the materials for the investigation. One student from each group can come up to a central area to collect the materials, or hand out the materials to each group.

  2. Begin the lesson by having students watch the programTransition Metals II.Ask them to pay close attention to the transition metals highlighted in the program and why each is important. Have them write the names of transition metals they are familiar with and how the metals are used. If students are not familiar with any transition metals or their uses, tell them not to worry about it. Then ask them to put the piece of paper away until the end of the lesson.
  3. Direct students? attention to the periodic table of the elements in a book or on a class chart. Point out the transition metals. As a class, make a list of some elements in this group, where on the periodic table they are located, and two characteristics of the group. The chart will include the information below.

    Elements in the Transition Metals Group
    The transition metals include all the elements in groups 3 through 12 on the periodic table. Listed below are common transition metals.
    • zirconium (Group 4)
    • vanadium (Group 5)
    • iron (Group 8)
    • cobalt (Group 9)
    • nickel (Group 10)
    • copper (Group 11)
    • mercury (Group 12)

    Characteristics of the Groups
    • fairly stable; react slowly; some do not react at all with air and water.
    • hard and strong
    • good conductors of heat and electricity
    • high melting and boiling points
    • form colored compounds and ions in solution
  4. Tell students that they are going to make a homemade hand warmer. Each group should follow the directions listed below. First have each group write a prediction of what will happen when these materials are mixed together..
    • Pour 1 tablespoon iron filings into the resealable plastic bag. Add ¼ teaspoon salt.
    • Add 1 tablespoon vermiculite to the bag and seal it. Shake the bag well.
    • Open the bag, add 1 teaspoon water, and quickly reseal it.
    • Squeeze the bag. What happens? Write your observations.
    • Continue squeezing the bag. Write any additional observations.
  5. Tell the students to put their predictions aside to complete the investigation. Remind them to record their observations as the investigation progresses. Make sure that each group cleans up before the class period ends.
  6. During the next class period, discuss the results of the investigation. Ask students to explain why the bag turned warm. If students have trouble, go back to the sheet that identifies the characteristics of transition metals. Ask if they think any of the characteristics listed there could explain what happened. If necessary, point out that some transition metals give off heat when mixed with oxygen.
  7. Work with the class to explain the results of the experiment. Ask students, "What happened when iron and oxygen were combined?"(A chemical reaction took place between the iron and the oxygen in the water and in the air. When mixed with oxygen, the iron oxidized and gave off heat.)Then ask, "What kind of chemical reaction is this?"(an exothermic reaction)
  8. Discuss the roles that salt and vermiculite play in the investigation. Make sure students know that the salt acts as a catalyst in the reaction, and the vermiculite helps hold in heat.
  9. Conclude the lesson by asking students to revisit the notes they recorded at the beginning of the lesson. Ask students to complete the list or add to it, based on what they have learned.  Ask them to list as many transition metals as possible and why each one is important.

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Evaluation
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points: Students identified several transition metals on the periodic table of the elements and accurately described several characteristics of these elements; demonstrated a clear understanding of how the investigation illustrated a property of one transition metal; and could explain clearly and accurately the results of the experiment.
  • Two points: Students identified two transition metals on the periodic table of the elements and satisfactorily described at least two characteristics of these elements; demonstrated a satisfactory understanding of how the investigation illustrated a property of one transition metal; and could explain satisfactorily the results of the experiment.
  • One point: Students had difficulty identifying any transition metals on the periodic table of the elements and could not describe any characteristics of these elements; demonstrated a weak understanding of how the investigation illustrated a property of one transition metal; and had difficulty explaining the results of the experiment.

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Vocabulary
catalyst
Definition:A material that helps increase the rate of a chemical reaction but is not changed by the reaction
Context:Salt acts as a catalyst in the chemical reaction between iron and oxygen.

exothermic reaction
Definition:A chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of heat
Context:Oxygen and iron produce an exothermic reaction and release heat.

iron
Definition:A transition metal in group 8 of the periodic table of the elements
Context:A common metal, iron is found inside the human body as part of a hemoglobin molecule.

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Academic Standards
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL?s Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks,click here.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Physical Sciences: Understands the structure and property of matter
  • Language Arts?Viewing: Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media

National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences provides guidelines for teaching science in grades K?12 to promote scientific literacy. To view the standards,click hereto visit the Web site.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:

  • Physical Science: Chemical reactions
  • Physical Science: Structure and properties of matter

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