Chemistry can be super exciting and fun, but before you get to conducting crazy experiments, you will need to be familiar with the periodic table. The elements in the periodic table are the basis for all Chemistry equations, so whether or not you need to memorize them for a test, the content and layout of the periodic table is a good thing to have in the back of your brain. If you are a student feeling overwhelmed by this daunting task, or a parent trying to help your struggling teenager, here are some tips to make the process go smoothly!
1. Start by printing out a periodic table and putting it in a place you often see
For example, inside a binder cover or on your desk. Having it readily available will encourage you to look at it and try to memorize it more often.
2. Make sure you understand how the table works
By knowing how the elements are organized, what an atomic number is, and what a valence charge is, the order of the elements will make a lot more sense.
3. Familiarize yourself with the elements themselves
Try doing practice problems or looking up the elements’ functions. By spending time learning something other than their names, they will be easier to memorize by attaching some meaning to them. You will even understand their placement on the table better. If you watch this little 3 year old obsessed with the periodic table on The Ellen Show, you’ll notice she even recognizes the elements in their visual form, and what they are.
4. Try drawing out the periodic table without peeking
Do as much as you can from memory, and make note of the ones you struggle with. Don’t forget to be creative! If you put your own touch on your table diagram, it will become more personal and memorable for you.
5. Break it into pieces!
You can even make smaller sections of the table separately to focus on one bit at a time. This will help avoid getting overwhelmed.
6. Memorize the periodic table elements through song!
There’s nothing like a catchy song to get the elements stuck in your head. Check out AsapSCIENCE’s video to learn the names along with some fun facts. If you are feeling creative, try creating your own catchy tune.
7. Take advantage of your learning style to create a method that suits you best
For example, if you are a visual learner, try drawing out a symbol for the elements you get stuck on.
8. Turn it into a game!
Once you think you’re getting the hang of the period table, grab a friend and play a round of Periodic Table Battleship. Engaging in a game will be even more memorable than simply sitting down with a paper and staring at it, plus you will have tons of fun!
Feel free to try all of these methods, or just one or two. Memorizing the periodic table is a great opportunity to figure out which studying techniques work for you. The best thing is to get creative and try new techniques; before you know it, you will know all those elements inside and out! Then you will be ready to start mixing chemicals, creating explosions, or extracting elements from a mixture.