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Teaching ‘Atomic Numbers and Chemical Nature of Elements’

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March 7, 2016

Teaching ‘Atomic Numbers and Chemical Nature of Elements’

Chemistry subject seems to be a mystery for the students who cannot remember the atomic numbers. They face problem in memorizing the number of protons, electrons of atoms.

In a class of 30-35 students, I make them learn atomic numbers till 30 in a very interesting manner. Students call their classmates not by their names but by their elemental names. Students roll number is taken as the atomic number so he or she gets the element name accordingly.

For example, Roll no’s 1, 2, 3, 4 are called with their elemental names as Hydrogen, helium, Lithium , Beryllium and so on. Each student has to learn the symbols and chemical nature of atleast 10 other elements with whom they are more friendly. This strategy can further help to learn chemical nature of elements by making the students sit in the class according to their nature(metals, non metals),etc.

In this way students learn the atomic numbers along with their symbols and chemical nature. I can still recall an incident when a student of grade 8 chuckled and told me that in previous class he was very reactive as his roll number was 11(Sodium: a very reactive metal) but now he has become a noble person as his roll number now was 10(Neon : a noble gas).

I was happy to know that through this innovative strategy atleast he remembered the atomic numbers.

So, this method has worked in my class, students really enjoy calling each other by their elemental name and at the same time they learn the basics of chemistry.

Naina Bedi, who has been teaching Science for the last sixteen years, holds a post-graduate degree in Chemistry, has a degree in Education besides being a Post- Graduate in English Literature. She likes to read books by Khushwant Singh and Chetan Bhagat, travelling and exploring new places and meeting people. She finds dancing to be a stress buster. She says, ‘I have come a long way in this profession and I feel proud to be a teacher as it gives me the opportunity not only to interact with young minds but also to motivate them to do good for the society. Through my lessons I try to inculcate values and life skills in my students which is the need of the hour. I feel proud to be a teacher’

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