Chemistry: Periodic Table 1 Whole Unit Overview
(Please note: (S) denotes material in the Supplement (Extended syllabus) only)
Learning Outcomes Suggested Teaching Activities Resources
This can be seen as a rise or fall in temperature
of many often chemical reactions used in the syllabus.
This concept can be taught across the syllabus, rather than as a discrete lesson.
• neutralisation reactions of acids and alkalis (see Unit 3 Acids - section 8.1)
• metal displacement reactions (see
• dissolving salts, including ammonium
• if data loggers are available, temperature probes could be used.
Describe the Periodic Table as a method of
Elements to be classified as metals and non-
classifying elements and its use to predict
metals. Their states should be mentioned.
Properties limited to quantitative idea of melting/boiling point.
• students make observations from photographic version of periodic table. a database of properties and states for element of periods 1, 2 and 3 could be set up. Students could be asked to design queries to find the metals, non metal, solids and liquids and enter the results on a blank copy of the periodic
Describe the change from metallic to non-
Emphasize number of valency electrons = group
Describe the general physical and chemical
melting/boiling point, conduction of heat and electricity, malleability and ductility.
Chemical properties such as reactions with water, steam and dilute mineral acids.
Explain why metals are often used in the
Relate to improvement in corrosion resistance
and mechanical properties such as strength.
Link to production of steel (section 10.3a below) and brass.
Describe lithium, sodium and potassium in
Demonstration or video only of reactions with
Group 1 as a collection of relatively soft
water due to highly exothermic nature. Focus on
metals showing a trend in melting point,
Predict the properties of other elements in
Include reactions of Rubidium and Caesium and
the Group, given data, where appropriate.
physical properties such as melting and boiling points. Trends can be obtained from suitable data bases.
Place in order of reactivity: calcium; copper,
(hydrogen), iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc by reference to the
And the reduction of their oxides with carbon. Magnesium, Zinc, Iron with dilute hydrochloric
For advanced candidates this could be extended to (aluminium), lead, nickel, tin and silver to provide a more detailed list of reactivities. (note that aluminium is less reactive than expected in test tube experiments)
Describe the reactivity series as related to
the tendency of a metal to form its positive ion, illustrated by its reaction, if any, with
Reaction of the metals magnesium, zinc, iron and copper with aqueous solution of their ions.
(again (aluminium), lead, nickel, tin and silver
could be added to the list to expand the experiment)
Aluminium and iron(III) oxide (Thermit reaction) as a demonstration of the reactions of metals and oxides.
Account for the apparent unreactivity of
aluminium in terms of the oxide layer which adheres to the metal.
Relate to the uses of aluminium e.g. aluminium is toxic, but oxide layer enables its use for drinks
containers because of its resistance to corrosion.
Deduce an order of reactivity from a given
Reactions of metals with water, steam and dilute
hydrochloric or sulphuric acid (for advanced candidates also with other aqueous metal ions).
10.3 (a) Describe the ease in obtaining metals from
Electrolysis, carbon + metal oxide and mining of
their ores by relating the elements to the
Relate these three methods to the position of the metal in the reactivity series.
Possible issues to discuss include
• the economic and environmental cost of the high energy required in metal extraction processes.
• the large input of non renewable fossil fuel resources into electrolysis and carbon reduction.
• the importance of recycling metals.
Key points : use of blast furnace, coke, hot air,
limestone and iron ore and the formation of slag and molten iron.
Possible issues to discuss include
• local environmental effect of large scale
• the economic and environmental cost of the high energy demand of blast furnace.
• the large input of non renewable fossil fuel resources into carbon reduction.
• the need to collect waste toxic carbon monoxide, which can be used as a fuel to reduce energy cost of plant
• the environmental effect of disposing of slag, and economic issues of searching for a potential use for the waste material
Describe the conversion of iron into steel.
Use of basic oxygen process (O2 lance) limited to the removal of carbon excess carbon (good example of redox chemistry to illustrate syllabus section 7.3).
10.3 (b) Describe the idea of changing the properties
of iron by the controlled use of additives to
elements) and changing carbon content to alter
properties such as strength and hardness.
Opportunity for data analysis activities to link steel specifications to use.
Name the uses of mild steel (car bodies and
Relate to greater resistance to chemical attack
machinery) and stainless steel (chemical
Describe in outline, the extraction of zinc
Key points : roasting in air of sulphide to
produce oxide and then similar process to iron
manufacture (except there is no limestone and zinc vaporizes and condenses in pans high in
• high energy demand of process and input of non renewable fossil fuel
• polluting effects of waste sulphur dioxide and resultant legislative control of roasting in many countries
Name the uses of zinc for galvanising and for Can be expanded to include coinage and
Properties such as electrical conductivity,
properties; electrical wiring and in cooking
Link to Unit 8 (Electrochemistry) regarding the purification of copper.
Issues of the need and economic difficulties of recycling of metals could be discussed here.
Relevant elements for colours include iron
collection of metals having high densities,
(valency of 2 and 3), manganese (in potassium
high melting points and forming coloured
Catalysts to include nickel for hydrogenation of alkenes/fats, platinum in car catalytic converters and iron in the Haber process (also vanadium(V) oxide in the Contact process).
Possible issues to discuss include the importance of catalysts in lowering the energy demand of industrial processes and hence conserving fossil fuel and increasing profitability.
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