Student self-portraits smiling back at my kids from the front of the classroom. Each on a colorful tile they recognize as the Periodic Table of the Elements – Developing a personal connection to the Periodic Table.
Before the school year began, I painted the colorful tiles on our front wall. Even many non-science people recognize the shape represents the Periodic Table of the Elements. My first student comment was “Isn’t that the atom thing?” So we’re already activating background knowledge.
Chemistry is a focus this year and I wanted to begin on day one. Very early in the year the students designed their own self-portrait on the iPads. These they placed on a blank, colored tile on the wall. This then became their element.
Working from a traditional periodic table, they located their element and designed an element tiles. After presenting a short presentation to the class, they posted their element tile over their self-portrait. Hopefully you can see the pondering that went on determining the best placement and the high interest the student portraits generated.
Developing a personal connection to the Periodic Table of the Elements, adding color to our classroom, and featuring the creative art talents of students inherent in their self-portraits has been a rewarding experience.