The Lesson Prior
to the Introduction of the Standard Flat Periodic Table
The value of beginning learning about chemistry with a3D periodic table can't be overestimated.
The familiar printed icon of chemistry can not be readily replaced by a dimensional object, but, during introduction to chemistry, will help make sense of the need for breaks and gaps in the familiar form, flattened for convenience of printing and distribution - much as printed world map projections are far handier than globes.
The very first accepted periodic table was based on the premise that a chemical element arrangement makes most sense when arranged in three dimensions. Alexandre-Emile Beguyer de Chancourtois did this in 1862, aligned the elements in a helix, on the outside of a tube, with the periodic elements correctly related vertically by property, and retaining, unbroken, the numerical sequence of the elements' weights for the first time.
Since then, for convenience of printing of books and posters, the flat chart has become so ubiquitous that most assume that this is the proper representation.
That would not be so bad, except that this flawed image (propagated by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the accepted authority) is both confusing and disjointed, and when one begins to associate it with the Periodic Law, the table is also simply wrong in its many departures from the Law. By providing an unstable basis for future learning, and introducing (reinforcing?) doubt in authority, the credibility of the flat table is challenged.
All the varied static and/or interactive flat periodic table charts - for myriad reasons - must be used and relied upon if anyone is to study chemistry seriously.
The3D periodic table is best applied in the initial introduction to the periodic table to new students,
as the world globe initiates the understanding of distortions ('projections') required in printing world maps -3D is the reality, flat printed adaptations are for convenience and economy.
We have found two creative Periodic Table teaching strategies to bridge the informational gap between pre-conceptions of the periodic table and its actualities, removing intimidation of the table and placing the flat table in perspective by revealing its dimensional (historical) roots.
One is based on the Scaffolding premise, and another outline for a lesson plan which is Inquiry Based .
We hope these help your students to learn about the periodic table easier, faster, and better.