Element Box (Mini Periodic Table)

Element Box

Each student will do research on an element from the periodic table. Students will then create an element box that explains the element’s name, atomic number, symbol, and atomic mass. Students will also include 5 interesting facts about the element on their element box. Students will then use little Bits to add an interactive component to their element boxes. Each student will present their box to the class. The boxes will then be hung up in order of atomic number to create a mini period table or full sized periodic table depending on how many students participate in the project.

Duration: 5- 60 minute Lessons

Elementary (ages 8-10)


littleBits Basics
Physical Science
English Language Arts

Getting Started with littleBits (1)
powerSnap (1)
DC motor (tethered) (1)
glue dots (1)
wheel (1)
servo mount (1)
mechanical arm (1)


STEP 1 : Setup

This lesson will be completed individually. Each student is responsible for doing their own research as well as creating their own element box. However, students are allowed to ask each other questions as well as share resources throughout this project. The teacher will need to find boxes of equal sizes to give to students. The teacher will also need to collect and set up project materials for students to use.

STEP 2 : Connect

The teacher will have students recall prior knowledge about the matter unit that they are currently working on. The teacher will have students look at a periodic table to see if they can located the following parts: element name, element symbol, atomic number, atomic mass.

STEP 3 : Teach

Students will be introduced to the concept of the element box and will be told that the class/grade will be working together to create a mini periodic table of elements. Students will be introduced to the project requirements (see attachment). Students will also be given a list of helpful resources that they can use to research their 5 interesting facts. Students will be told that before they start to design their box, all element research needs to be completed. They will also need to draw a paper plan/ sketch of what their element box will look like and how they will incorporate little Bits into their interactive component.

STEP 4 : Engage

Students will conduct their element research. Once they have completed their research they will draw a paper plan of what their element box looks like. Students will also draw a sketch of how they will use little Bits to create an interactive component.

STEP 5 : Practice

Students will build their element boxes and attach little Bits to create their interactive component. Students will get feedback on their boxes so that they can make improvements to their designs. If students have completed one interactive component using their little Bits, they can be challenged to add a second one.

STEP 6 : Close

Have students share their boxes with the class. A second student should also come up and test the interactive component of the box to ensure that it is working correctly! Students should be allowed to give feedback and ask questions to students who are presenting.

STEP 7 : Extensions

Students can use feedback from the presentation to make further improvements to their element box. Students can also add a digital component to their element presentation. An example would be to use a stop motion app to create a video to explain how your box works. Students could also create a step by step guide that details the process that they had to go through to create their box.