Kalzium is an interactive program which shows you the Periodic Table of Elements. You can use Kalzium to search for information about the elements or to learn facts about the periodic table (from website).

Lesson Overview

This lesson uses the Kalzium software to give high school chemistry students an opportunity to dynamically explore the relationships between elements leading to a fuller understanding of both the periodic table and properties of the elements.


  • This activity is appropriate for general chemistry classes at the high school level.


  • The activity should take between 30 - 60 minutes depending on the number of activities and how elaborately students are expected to respond. Ideally, the activity would be conducted over a couple days with time in between to do some research and collect information. After starting the activity they may realize they do not have all the background knowledge they need in order to complete the activity.


  • Computer lab with Kalzium software installed

  • Attached Handout with directions and questions (Open Office version) (MS Word version)

  • A journal for writing down observations
  • Chemistry text book or other reference materials


  • Go through the activity at least once yourself prior to giving it to students
  • Consider whether working individually or in groups will be better
  • At some point, encourage students to share information with another student or group.
  • Download and modify the handout to fit your needs (i.e. spit it into two separate activities)


  • Students will explore the periodic table
  • Students will develop an understanding of the layout of the periodic table
  • Students will begin to see relationships between elements and how they are arranged on the periodic table
  • Students will describe their observations narratively


  • Students will be able to explain the periodicity of the periodic table
  • Students will describe how elements in each various vertical columns are related
  • Students will describe various trends that occur both horizontally and vertically through the table
  • Students will use the software to manipulate the table and draw conclusions based on their observations.


  1. Preface the activity with some discussion of the periodic table. Ideally, students will be somewhat familiar with the structure of atoms, the meaning of atomic weight, atomic number, etc.
  2. When introducing students to new software, it is beneficial to set aside time for students to explore the software on their own prior to beginning the activity. This would be most effective if it was a separate day. This could be an activity in and of itself with students being asked to make two or three "discoveries" and writing about them.
  3. The overall objective of this lesson is for students to use guided discovery to learn about the logic behind the periodic table and the properties of the elements.
  4. Use the attached handout (Open Office version) (MS Word version) as a guide for the lesson. Modify it accordingly if you want to split it over a couple days. Ideally, two shorter sessions may be more profitable than one longer session. Consider adding time for discussion or group collaboration between the two days and at the end.

  5. Conclude with a class discussion in which students share their observations and offer explanations.


Lesson developed by Jim Hutchinson - Media Specialist at Windsor High School in Windsor, CO

Lessons/Kalzium (last edited 2008-08-06 16:16:02 by localhost)