MYP 8 Science - Chemistry

MYP 8.5.2: Atoms, the fundamental building blocks of matter, elements and the periodic table


  • To familiarise the students with the periodic table, it's overall structure and use as a data table.
  • To know that atoms are microscopic particles and that they are the building blocks of the chemical elements.
  • To know that each element contains only one type of atom
  • To know that there are only about 90 naturally occurring elements


Revision of the periodic table elements and compounds.

A guided tour of the periodic table

There are about 90 naturally occurring elements and each contains a different kind of atom.

The atoms differ in mass and number of sub-atomic particles, protons, neutrons and electrons.

  • The proton number = the atomic number
  • The mass number = protons + neutrons
  • The electrons = the protons

Atoms cannot exist on their own (exception noble gases), they MUST combine with other atoms to attain stability*.

This combination in the elements gives the bulk structure. This may be individual molecules or a giant lattice for non-metals and a giant lattice for metals.

Student activity

Adopt an element and explain its importance in the world and how it interacts with society.

  • How it's extracted
  • What it's used for
  • Any dangers or issues associated with its or extraction

This could be a presentation, assessable on criterion A and B


Chemical Building Blocks: Section 1 - Introduction to Atoms pp74-86

The elements quiz

Elements quiz (may take up to 1 minute to load)

The Periodic Table

The Periodic Table of Videos

The chemical elements

Teaching notes

* The concept of stability should be used in the sense of being resistant to change. The more stable a substance is the less likely it is to change its chemical nature.


previous page
next page
Copyright: 2003 Isis Publication