History of the Periodic Table



Cleeve School and Sixth Form Centre of Excellence

Grade and age

Year 7 (11-12 years old)



What has been done?

Students watched the video and then wrote a rough summary of what they had seen. They then re-watched the video, added to it and wrote a final draft that was no more than 50 words. Students’ understanding was assessed by peer-assessment of the written paragraph on a scale of 1-5.

What kind of dl or sel skills did you cover?

  • Writing for Learning (produce a coherent paragraph to elaborate on one idea)
  • Relationship Skills (communicating effectively)


Which authentic text did you choose?

Title: The genius of Mendeleev’s periodic table

Author: Lou Serico

Description: Video on the history of the periodic table.


Which results can you expect?

Students enjoyed honing their responses and the clarity of their communication improved during the session.

What do students say?

‘It was hard to get to 50 words, but we worked together and did it’.

What do teachers say?

‘It was a lovely task that students found engaging and motivating. The simple scale to assess understanding worked well and they enjoyed peer-assessing their work.’


  1. Lesson plan (Appendix 1_1_History of the Periodic Table Lesson Plan)
  2. Instructions/Marking criteria (Appendix 1_2_History of the Periodic Table Instructions)
  3. Workbook that was used with students (it was lesson 4 in the sequence) (Appendix 1_3_Workbook_Lesson 4)