This week my students went out to take pictures of metals or metallic things and then came back to determine what makes a metal metallic.  What properties do metals have that nonmetals do not?
 They did an incredible job.  Some of them did extra research and learned words like malleable and ductile.  Together we decided that shiny is different than silvery, and later on we'll talk more about temperature and why metals seem to be "amplifiers of temperature," as they put it.
 We located the metals on the periodic table, and then discussed how could we tell if water is a metal or not if it's not on the periodic table?  By its properties of course!

 And we did all that without memorizing a list of metallic properties from a textbook.  I hope I can keep this up through the rest of the semester!


  1. great idea! did you send them out with digital cameras during the lesson, or was it hw?

    1. I sent them out in groups of two or three and made sure one member of each group had their own smartphone. Later on they uploaded their photos to a computer and emailed them to me. Two were really savvy and shared their photos with me on google docs. Eventually I put them all in a shared folder on google docs so all students could browse through them.