Elements, mixtures and compounds teaching resources

Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about elements and compounds (GCSE and Key Stage 3)

One of the best ways to introduce the concepts of chemical reactions, mixtures, elements and compounds is to perform the classic demonstration of reacting iron with sulphur. This is a powerful way for the students to visualise that the product, iron (II) sulphide, bears no resemblance to either sulphur or iron.  

Elements of the Periodic table

Resources on atomic structure, reactivity of the elements and particles are located elsewhere on the science teacher site.

KS3 worksheet on elements and their symbols. Students read a story about a chemist’s castle. It lists elements for them to find in the periodic table. The activity asks students to use symbols and names for elements. This is a fun and creative way to introduce students to elements and where they are located in the periodic table. Students can write their own stories, using their own choice of elements. (PDF)

Building models of atoms, elements and compounds

KS3 activity on atoms, elements and compounds. Many GCSE and even A Level students are not clear on the difference between atoms, elements, compounds and molecules. This simple activity supports an understanding of these concepts. Students use a simple billiard ball model to build elements, compounds and molecules. The activity can be extended for students to build models of molecules from chemical formulae and is easy to access. (PDF)

Element, mixture or compound?

Identifying elements mixtures and compoundsKey Stage 3 worksheet to identify elements, mixtures and compounds from particle pictures. This is a quick diagnostic task to see if students can use particle pictures to represent elements, mixtures and compounds. (PDF)

  1. Particle pictures and the particle model
  2. Diffusion
  3. Elements mixtures and compounds
  4. Separating techniques
  5. Solutions
  6. Density