Elements in Our World....a little project

We are nearing the end of our study on elements, so I wanted my students to do some sort of little project to bring home the point that everything in our universe is built from the elements we find on our periodic table.

My friend Susie, The Panicked Teacher, found this awesome periodic table that had pictures of things made from each element and then words with items made from the those same elements.  I made copies of the tables for each of my students.

I then asked my students to draw a "scene" in the world.  You know those pictures that can be found in Highlights magazines?  Where there is a picture of a park and some kids are playing in the sandbox, some are riding bikes on the path, others are climbing the monkey bars, and still others are having a picnic?  That was the kind of scene I wanted the kids to draw.  It could be anywhere in the world, but needed to include lots of vignettes.

The kids then cut out "windows" to 10 different spots on their picture where various elements could be represented.  For example, the sun could represent hydrogen, since it has a lot of hydrogen in it.  The sky could represent oxygen.  A table leg could represent lead.  I gave them a 1 inch by 2 inch piece of index card to trace so that each window would be the same size.  Be sure to remind them NOT to cut the top of the window, or the piece will just fall off.

After the windows were cut, the students glued their scene onto a plain piece of white paper so there was something to write on.  They opened the window and wrote the name of the element they were representing, the atomic number, drew the atom model, and listed some common items made from the element.

Here are a few of the completed ones.  I think they came out cute!  :)

What other applications can you think of for this same idea?


  1. This is great! I am definitely going to use this. Chelsea at 5th Grade Wit and Whimsy did a really need America's Most Wanted-Element Posters that I am going to do also! http://fifthgradewitandwhimsy.blogspot.com/2014/02/americas-most-wanted-element-posters.html
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Their projects turned out wonderful! I love this project...too bad we've finished our unit already. I am definitely going to try this out next year and maybe even towards the end of this year as a review. You always have such great ideas! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Fifth Grade Wit and

  3. Kids really love these activities.....and the pictures are awesome
    Heart Specialist in Hyderabad


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