Construct mind maps with your students to describe and compare the properties of group 2 elements and their compounds in this lesson plan for 16–18 year olds
In this activity, students make a mind map to review the properties of the elements magnesium, calcium, strontium and barium and their compounds. They then use peer assessment to check and comment on each other’s work, before comparing their own work with a pre-prepared example.
Students will be able to:
- Describe and compare the properties of the elements magnesium, calcium, strontium and barium and their compounds.
Sequence of activities
- Burn of a piece of magnesium taking care to tell students not to look directly at the flame.
- Explain to them that they are going to produce a mind map to describe and compare the properties of the elements magnesium, calcium, strontium and barium, and their compounds.
- Ask for suggestions about the properties that they should include and the detail that would be helpful.
Constructing a mind map
Circulate and support with prompts while students work individually to:
- Construct a mind map to describe and compare the properties of group 2 (they might draw on paper or use a word processor or use mind mapping software).
- Exchange their mind map with a partner.
Hand out a ’Mind map comments’ sheet to each student. Support the students as they:
- Write comments about their partners’ mind map.
- Return the mind maps.
- Discuss the comments that they have made with each other.
Comparing with a pre-prepared mind map
Distribute the prepared ‘Group 2 mind map’. Ask the students to:
- Complete section 3 of the ‘Mind map comments’ sheet.
- Hand in their map and comments.
Give written feedback. Acknowledge achievement and make further comment that helps the student to take their next steps.
The explanation alongside the demonstration makes explicit the purpose of the activity.
Knowing that their work will be assessed by their peers increases student motivation. In the process of assessing the work of another, students inevitably consider the quality of their own work. The prepared group 2 mind map shows students the expected outcome – and, having constructed their own map, they will be more able to appreciate the key points.
Written feedback serves to validate both peer and self assessment.
- Pair of tongs
- Bunsen burner
- Magnesium ribbon
Health, safety and technical notes
This lesson plan was originally part of the Assessment for Learning website, published in 2008.
Assessment for Learning is an effective way of actively involving students in their learning. Each session plan comes with suggestions about how to organise activities and worksheets that may be used with students.