Monday 1 February 2010

Memorising The Periodic Table

I had a great teacher when I was doing GCSE Science. Right at the start of year 10, Mr Middleton taught the class how to memorise the first 30 elements of the Periodic Table. I have a feeling I may be one of the only students from that class who can still say 16 years on that I remember all 30 still. Last week, at last, I was able to pass on the story to the next generation, so I'll share it with you too, in case it's useful.
Well, for starters you have to start off with Hydrogen and Helium, but that's not much to remember.

Now I'm going to tell you a story about a Polish lady called LiBe BCNOFNe. She lives in a small town called NaMg, and she has a friend called Al. Al has a rather disgusting habit, because he SiPS Chlorine. He lives neAr Libe in the village of KCa.

What does all this tell you? That Science Tichers are Very Crazy Men.

And you know what? I nearly forgot to mention FeCoNi. He's Al's Italian CuZn.
Alternatively, you could go all out and try to memorise all the elements (albeit not in order) as per Tom Lehrer:


  1. I've never heard the story your teacher taught you (I don't think I had to memorize the chart) - but it's been a long time since I've heard that great Tom Lehrer song. Makes me smile. :)

  2. I'd suggest making little cards for each element; one side with the actual name and the other with the symbol. Lay them out on the floor symbols up. Then quiz yourself and see how many you know.
    As for patterns, the periodic table is organized due to the number of electrons. The first column of the periodic table all have one electron in the outmost (valence) shell and so on until the last column has a full valence shell of eight.


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