Characterizing Elements

Characterizing Elements

11-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old

Art and Design


Elements can be characterized based on their different chemical and physical properties.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

March 9, 2020

Learning Objectives

  • Become familiar with different properties of elements.
  • Develop a way of characterizing elements based on their chemical and physical properties.
  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Guiding Ideas

Lesson 7

The periodic table is by far the most common way that the elements are presented. The elements are ordered by atomic number (which correlates with the number of protons in the element) and electron configuration. This results in elements in the same column of the table having similar chemical properties. Various other means of categorizing the elements have also been derived these include alternative 3 dimensional periodic tables and even a transport style map of the elements.

Through the use of the element constructor and by observing element blocks, Minecraft allows students to find the atomic number and mass of elements.  Element blocks are colored according to the region of the periodic table that they inhabit.

Student Activities

Students can create or obtain elements using the features of Minecraft. They can then begin to group the elements according to the properties they can determine within the games, and so begin to build their own table of elements within Minecraft.

Students may use any feature of the elements, which may include the atomic number, isotopes, color of the element block or even how useful they are in the game. Students can then investigate real world properties of elements and begin to use those to influence their element tables.


Performance Expectations

Build a table of elements based on Minecraft and real world features.

Research properties of elements.

Build a representation of the periodic table.