The father of the Periodic Table of Elements, the great Russian chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev, was born on this day in a village near Tobolsk, Siberia, in 1834. Happy birthday, Dmitri!
Why not celebrate this analytical anniversary with a simple interactive history of the chemical elements and of the Periodic Table, prepared by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It’s quite suitable for homeschool high schoolers and advanced middle schoolers — try reading each little vignette aloud as you scroll down through the centuries:
Or, if you’re looking for something a little less historical and a little more poetical, why not learn a haiku or two this week — there’s one in this collection for every single element:
Perhaps we can consider “Hydrogen” to be a bonus poem-of-the-week:
Your single proton
Water. Life. Star fuel.
And of course no celebration of Mendeleev’s birthday can possibly be complete without a performance of one of his greatest — albeit indirect — legacies, to wit, “The Elements” by the immortal Tom Lehrer (b. 1928):
What scientific discoveries have you made in your homeschool this Orion Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can find an up-to-date presentation of the periodic table on pages 316–317 of your homeschool almanac, along with a record of the year each element was discovered. 🗞
❡ Elementary, my dear Dmitri: This is one of our occasional Homeschool Holidays & Anniversaries posts. Add your name to our weekly mailing list and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🗞