Carter in the classroom

Teacher Finds Creative Way to Teach Students Periodic Table

A science teacher at Warren Middle School in Forney is trying to add a element of fun to memorizing the periodic table.

In science teacher Dawn Sheets' lesson, all the elements are family members. Her students partner up and group the elements together to make the correct branches of a family tree. They also have to find the one element or "cousin" that's missing.

Students Perla Skupien and Bradley McCullough said they have known each other since day care. All these years later they still enjoy working together and helping each other figure this out.

"At first I was getting confused and at then end I realized the hair swirls were advanced electrons, and their fingers were how many electrons were on each ring," McCullough said.

Sheets is almost 20 years in to her teaching career and said she's been doing this lesson since Day 1.

It's paper-based -- no computers -- and she said it truly works in helping her students figure out how elements work together on the periodic table.

"It sticks! Anything you can get them to get information on their own, it sticks, rather than just filling them with information that you're telling them," she said.

Contact Us