Element Balls


Environmental Chemistry Table

Chemicool Periodic Table

Chemistry: WebElements Periodic Table

A Periodic Table of the Elements at Los Alamos National Laboratory

PURPOSE:  To produce an icosahedron (20-sided structure) showing information about a chosen element.  Grades will be determined from the creativity exhibited, difficulty of the element chosen, and satisfactory completion of requirements.  You will have to explain what you have learned about your element to your classmates.  No partners and you each have to choose your own element.  This will be worth 1/2 of a test grade.MUST BE TYPED.

MATERIALS:  Element information; material chosen for use in constructing element ball (colored paper, construction paper , etc) ; stapler and/or glue, markers, pens, crayons, etc.; decorations; patterns.

Template: link


1.Using the circle pattern, cut 20 circles from the material chosen to construct the element ball.

2.  Using the triangle pattern, trace the triangle inside the circle.

3.  Inside 19 of the triangle write a piece of information or a properties about the element.  Decorate the circles or triangles making them as colorful as you can.  Be sure that all written information is INSIDE the triangle area and is written clearly.  (you may want to use the computer)

Write your name, class period and element name on the remaining triangle.

4.  Begin assembly of the element ball by folding up the curved sides extending beyond the triangle on all 20 of the circles. See figure 1.

5.  Select 5 of the triangles and place them in a circle with the top points toward the center, like pieces of a sliced pie. See Figure 2.

6.  Staple or glue the curved, upright edges at the creases.  Once stapled and/or glued, it should resemble a hat.  This will be the top of the ball.

7.  Repeat steps 5 and 6 to make the bottom of the ball.

8.  To make the center of the ball, take the remaining 10 triangle and place them in a straight row, with alternating point up and point down.  Staple and/or glue the creases. See Figure 3.

9.  Bring the ends of the row of the triangle together and staple or glue the two end creases together to form a ring.

10. Set the ring up on a table and place the top on the ring, matching up the curved tabs.  Staple and/or glue at the creases.

11.  Turn the assembly over and attach the bottom in a similar fashion.

12.  Punch one hole in on tab, tie on a piece of light string or yarn about 12 inches long.

13.  Prepare a short presentation of your element, to be shared in class.



The first three items on this list must be placed on all element balls.  The other items are suggestions and may be found for some elements but not for others.  These are only suggestions -- feel free to add other interesting information.


1.  element symbol and name

2.  atomic number          

3.  atomic mass                  

4.  common isotopes

5.  covalent radius

6.  common uses

7.  melting point

8.  boiling point

9.  metal, nonmetal, metalloid

10.  physical state at room temperature

11.  origin of name or symbol

12.  electron configuration

13.  crystal structure

14.  atomic radius

15.  electronegativity

16.  ionization energy

17.  specific heat

18.  sources of the element

19.  common oxidation numbers or charges

20.  common compounds in which the element is found

21.  density

22.  abundance in Earth's crust

23.  cost per lb., g, oz. etc.

24.  date of discovery and discoverer

25.  other facts of interest or unique information


Sources of Information:

chemistry textbooks

CRC Handbook of Chemistry

general encyclopedias

science encyclopedias


periodic tables

Internet Websites:


Environmental Chemistry


Chemical Elements


Los Alamos Natl Labs

                                                                                                Name:  _________________
                                                                                                Hour:  __________




  1. Element ball contains 20 circles:
    1. One circle has element name and symbol (5)                          _____
    2. One circle has atomic number and atomic mass(5)                 _____
    3. Has 18 other interesting facts (5)                                            _____
  1. The information is typed or wrote creatively  (not in pencil)  (5)        _____
  2. Triangles are filled as full as possible with information(5)                 _____
  3. Student Effort:
    1. Student obviously put forth a lot of effort     (5)                    _____
    2. The element is creative and colorful               (10)                  _____
    3. Students name is on the element ball              (5)                    _____

5.  Element ball contains more than 20 facts (5)                                             _____


TOTAL POINTS  (50 P0SSIBLE)              ____________

GRADE                                                         ____________

            FOR ADDITIONAL FACTS (0-5)             _______


                        NEW GRADE ________________







Note:  the more information you have the better your grade (or do an extra element ball)










Element Ball Rubric


This project is worth  50 points.  You must turn it in on the due date to get full credit.  The due date is    Dec 15             .


A Range

Project turned in on time or early.  Student went above and beyond what the expectations in the project outline stated.  Student possibly choose  a difficult element.  Filled in all the triangles with more information than expected.   Students work is exemplary compared to their peers.  Students element ball was creative and typed on the triangles.  Student put forth maximum effort.


B Range

Project turned in on time or one day late.  Student followed all expectations given to them in the project outline. Student possibly picked a difficult element and filled all the triangles or student choose an easier element and filled in all the triangles with more information than expected.  Student did better than most of their peers.  Student put forth great effort. Students element ball was creative and typed on the triangles. 


C Range:

Project turned in on time or two days late.  Student followed most of the expectations given to them. Student picked and easy element but forgot to fill in all the triangles.   Student did average work and showed some effort.  Student forgot to use their creative instincts and wrote out the lettering in pencil or pen.


D Range:

Project was 3 days late.  Student forgot several of the expectations.  Compared to their peers work, student did poorly.  Showed very little effort. 


F Range:


The project wasn't turned in or turned in more than 5 days late.  Did not complete all instructions.  Student showed no effort.