A fun way to learn the periodic table

For the uninitiated, “The periodiс table of the chemical elements is a tabular method of displaying the chemical elements.” (words lifted from wikipedia :P ). In this post, i will share my experiences on how i learnt up the periodic table when i was in the 11th Grade. :)

A word of caution! Some of the methods illustrated here will be only suited to readers who have bare minimum knowledge about the Tamil Language (and Chennai :P ). If you don’t have a clue on words like paambu, saapadu, sethu po! etc, then i would advice you to continue to some of my other posts. Ok enough dilly-dallying…  let me begin now :)

The periodic table consists of 117 elements as of 10th March, 2009. The methods i list out will enable you to remember at least about 60+ elements, whose positions are generally tough to remember. A sample of the periodic table is shown below.

Periodic Table - Tips are given for area marked by the black rounded rectangles

Periodic Table - Tips are given for area marked by the black rounded rectangles

As marked in the above figure, the tips are given to remember the D-block and P-block elements. So, assuming you know the first 12 elements (which you ought to), after reading through this you can remember the order of close to 65+ elements.

The P-Block elements

Now, starting with the P-block, Take one column at a time. So, you are about to learn groups 13 – 17.

Group 13 – Starting with Boron [B] – is to be rememberd as – B Al Ga In Tl = BAGIT (or BAG IT !)

Group 14 – Starting with Carbon [C] – Carbon and Silicon chips in Germany doped with Tin(Sn) and Lead(Pb) – C Si Ge Sn Pb

Group 15 – Starting with Nitrogen [N] – Naga Pambu Aasaiya Saabuduthu Biscuit – N P As Sb Bi

Group 16 – Starting with Oxygen [O] – Ohh YeS! Se Thu Po (as in O S Se Te Po)

Group 17 – Starting with Fluorine [F] – Remember it as if you where rushing through it! Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine, Astatine – all the ‘ine’ endings somehow rhyme for me :P

Group 18 – You got to learn these by heart as they are NOBLE enough to be on the periodic table :P :P

The D-block elements

We shall now deal with the Dreaded D-block elements. Here, i would prefer to attack in a row-wise (period-wise) manner.

Period 4 - Taking up the 1st row of D-block, that is the 4th Period in the table, break it down into two equal halfs: viz. Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn and Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn

For the 1st half – Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn – remember it as – Scandium saw Titanic in Vettri Chrompet Theatre with Manganese

For the 2nd half – Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn – remember it as if your are reading of the Symbols – Feh Co Nee Ku Zinc – FeCo   NiCu   Zn – Fe,Co and Ni,Cu are two couples whereas Zn is a bachelor :P ( Be careful not to mess up the order of Cobalt – Co – and Copper – Cu – while remembering it )

Period 5 – Assume, this period is a story about two friends Y (Yttrium) and Z (Zed/Zee – Zirconium). Now, Y and Z are two friends and they say “Namba(Nb) Teacher(Tc) R-square(Ru,Rh)” (Our teacher R-square). Then they sing, dance to music from a CD – Padi(Pd) Aaadi(Ag) Cd

in short: Y and Z – two friends – say “Namba Teacher R-square” – and Padi, Aadi to a Cd ……. Sounds good ??

Period 6 – For this one, i would like to approach it from the reverse. That is Hg, Au, Pt, Ir, Os, Re, W, Ta, Hf

Expanding and associating each symbol with easy to remember words like:

Hg – Mercury – Marie – a brand of biscuit which is popular in India

W – Tungsten – Wandhichu or Vandhichu- meaning “to come” or “to get affected with”

Ta – Tantalum – Theriyuma – meaning “do you know? “

So imagine your talking to the element Hafnuim (Yup! Hafnium is a tamilian and knows tamil :P Absolutely no questions to be raised here !!), the complete sentence in tamil is like

“Marie Gold Platinum biscuit saaptu Irridium ku Soree Wandhichu Theriyuma Hafnium ?”

The same with some more explanation in braces for better understanding would be:

Marie(Hg) Gold(Au) Platinum(Pt) biscuit saaptu Irridium(Ir) ku SoRee(OsRe) Wandhichu(W) Theriyuma(Ta) Hafnium(Hf) ?”

which translates to “Hey hafnium, did you know that Irridium got a bad itch after eating Marie Gold Platinum biscuits ?”

And not to forget the first element of the 6th period (also the first element of the Lanthanides) – Lanthanum !

So there you have it! That was how i learnt the periodic table.

Kudos! to my chemistry professor – Mr. Baskar or ‘Aufbau’ (Wondering why we named him so? for everything he would say “Aufbau principle padichiko! Adhu podhum !” ) as we used to call him affectionately in school, and i must not forget to mention that we do have this Orkut Community dedicated for him, http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Community.aspx?cmm=18670311. This is just one of the most amazing things which he taught me. And i must say it was damn helpful during those gruelling times when i was in 11th & 12 th grade. And guess what?  I still remember the periodic table by heart! even after more than three years of passing out of school :)

So did you find this useful? Or, Have you figured out a better way of learning the periodic table? Do share your thoughts on this as comments :)

Hope that helps ;-)

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Comments
31 Responses to “A fun way to learn the periodic table”
  1. ERSHAD says:

    Taking the legacy of bhaskar sir aka aufbau everywhere?

  2. Sathya Narayanan says:

    duh !!!! state board ppl :P

  3. gaingeLyday says:

    Thank you for this. It’s really informative read.
    I love to read a4arvind.wordpress.com!

  4. Sandhya says:

    Haha!! if only chemistry teachers were so innovative :P

  5. Sandhya says:

    Haha!! If only, chemistry teachers were so innovative back in school. All I did was sleep through the classes.. :P

  6. dfebhsue says:

    thax alot

  7. Great work but

    How to learn if don’t know tamil

    Learn Tamil!
    Then learn Periodic table?

    Please make some funny learning in english

  8. ashish says:

    could you have all this in Hindi or proper english

  9. heather says:

    im in yr 9
    i need a fast nd easy way to learn the periodic teble plz help

  10. heather says:

    and any chhets to help me learn faster would be greatt

  11. Taylor says:

    Your site realy helped me… well the part that i could read!

  12. abdi says:

    great work thnx

  13. Sandeep says:

    Thanx a lot! life saver…….. !!
    Helped me to prepare myself as i will not be able to pass the xamination without this type of learning method…..

  14. kankha says:

    for remembering halogen family
    F Cl Br I At use
    [Content Suppressed]

  15. shubham says:

    how to learn periodic table fast and easy way in hindi??

  16. pallsa says:

    good work! keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Arun says:

    Wow such a nice way of remembering the p.t
    i want f block also

  18. aruna says:

    That was very useful. Thank u sooooooooooooo much. :)

  19. ROHIT says:

    Really great. My lecturers should take a look at this……..

  20. shivashish sharma says:

    it is gud!

  21. Fatema says:

    I have seen the above way tomemorise the periodic table and i thinkit is really a cool way but i want this skill in hindi.will youplease help me?

  22. Group Wise DOWNWARDS:
    Haan lee na kar rab se fariyad(H Li K Na Rb Cs Fr)
    Beta Mange Car Scooter Baap Razi(Be, …)
    Scandal Ya Ladki Achi
    Teri ZaRasi Heraferi
    Vidya ka NeighBor Tailor
    CaR MOtor Wala
    MaNdir TaC RastE
    Fir Rutha Osama
    COol RaHe aIR
    Nika PaDhae PandiT
    Cu Ag Au (Kyu Aaj Aaun?)
    Zink ki Cadai me Mercury
    BAba ALi GAye INdia ThaylaLeke
    CartikShivGaneshSangParvati
    Nahi Pasand Ayse Sab Bhai
    OSe TeRe
    Free Class Bears Indian Attitude
    Helium Neon…..

    Third Period:
    Sachin Tendulkar Very Crazy Man Fe Co Nahi ChuZaao

  23. mebin mebin says:

    for group 17 ….ie…… f ,cl,br,i,at
    First Class Biriyani In Austria

  24. SP.Ranju says:

    really a great job, my coach use to say me to look at the periodic table daily for half an hour a day , but still i couldnt remember it, ur way is wonderful , i will never forget this again

  25. Ashu says:

    there ‘s a better and easy way here…
    the best

    s block
    ‘H’a’Li”Na’ ‘K’i Rab’ se (‘Cs’) ‘Fr’iyad
    H Li Na K Rb Cs Fr

    (Be)ta Mange (Mg) Kanya (Ca) sundar (Sr) Baap (Ba) Raaji (Ra)

    for p and d block ,, contact, i can tell u more if intrested
    silentcontrol90@gmail.com
    orkut: silent control90

  26. vishwa daiya says:

    nice one trick to remember 1st period lina ki rab se fariyad….:)

  27. skye says:

    umm i still dont get im probably sleepy …….yawn

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