Thursday, March 11, 2010

Memorizing the Periodic Table – Part One, General Information

To remember information about the Periodic Table we have to be able to recall symbols, numbers, and alphanumeric combinations. (In other words what is considered very difficult memory challenges for anyone who doesn't know Mnemonic's Phonetic System.) So before tackling the Periodic Table here please take a few days to become familiar with the Phonetic System and then come back. [Let me assure you, you will never regret the little bit of effort it takes to learn the Phonetic System, especially if you want to remember information for Chemistry, Mathematics, and any other subject that requires remembering numbers.

Since the Periodic Table is a very big subject, we're going to tackle it numerous ways using Memory Stories first, then later on more memory stories for the elements by group, and then in a few more days we'll use the Peg System to memorize all the elements by their atomic number. Today we're only going after some general information about the Periodic Table without even mentioning any of the elements by name.

Today, in part one; we'll memorize the following things about the periodic table.

(1) The design or shape of the periodic table, e.g. where the alkali metals, alkali earths, transition elements, halogens, and noble gas elements are.

(2) S2, P6, D10, F14 - the four blocks and the number of groups in each block.

(3) The electron configurations for S block group 1 alkali metals S1, S block group 2 alkali earths

S2, P block group 17 Halogen elements S2P5 and for P block group 18 Noble gas elements S2P6.

(4) The word ending for Halogen elements is always –ine.

(5) And some other miscellaneous information that may be helpful to remember.


A Periodic Table Memory Story

You are Father Mendeleev and run the Men Don't Leave Prison. There are four cell blocks at Men Don't Leave with S block on the left, P block on the right, D block tucked down and in the middle between S and P blocks and last but not least F block which is separated and below the other blocks. (Visualize the blocks while looking at the Periodic Table.) Each block has groups or gangs in them with some very peculiar habits and characteristics but they all love to watch TV (18 groups in the periodic table). The way to remember how many gangs there are in each block is using the phrase, Sunny (S2) Peach (P6) Dates (D10) Father (F14). This is extremely important because Sunny Peach Dates are the inmates' favorite dessert and they plead "Sunny Peach Dates Father for dessert?" when you walk through the cell blocks because they love this fruity dessert so much.

Now don't get the wrong idea that it's all fun and games here because there are some real bad gangs in Men Don't Leave Prison with some very strange habits. In S block there's the Suit Gang (S1 electron configuration) who are all into metal and go around in their metal suits saying "I'll kill ya". (alkali metals) Then there's the Sun Gang (S2 electron configuration) who are also into metal so they wear this Samurai-like metal sun helmet and not to be outdone by the Suit Gang they yell "I'll kill the Earth". (alkali earth) Believe me, they would if they could. The Sun Gang read books in the prison library on how to create miniature suns (atomic theory and fusion) on the earth's surface all the time.

Next to S block is D block and all these gangs are in transition. They've been trying to give up Metal in a ten step program but to no avail so every time you have the cell blocks searched it's the same old metal story but as you go from left to right through the cellblock they seem to be trying to give up metal but none of them are cured.

P block is another story because most of the gangs have given up Metal altogether. Just not all of them. Metal is a very hard habit to break here at Men Don't Leave Prison. One group or gang that has given up metal completely is the Halo Gents (halogens). No, they don't wear halos but grin broadly and yell "Halo!" just before…Well let me explain. This is P block group 17 and the Halos play a repulsive game called Pee Tag (P17) and just before they "tag" you they yell out "Halo!" Because they have to feed this repulsive habit the Halo Gents do their best to retain liquids so they're really into salt and eat saltines (-ine being the word ending for halogens amongst a number of other meanings my blog page will cover eventually.) and drink Snapple™ (S2P5 electron configuration) by the truckload. Needless to say the Halo Gents can smell pretty bad, even to the point you could die being around some of them because the gas is so bad.

Another gang in P block is the Nobles. The Nobles are a bit snooty and only watch Pay TV (P18) and tend the Sunny Peach (S2P6 electron configuration) orchard. They're so stuck up they will have nothing to do with any of the gang members. I think it's because they don't want to get their Noble outfits dirty.

Finally there's F block where they're also into metal but striving for inner transitional peace. (Inner transition) The gangs in F block listen to Rare Earth (rare earth elements) albums but the guys on the top of F block tend the beautiful lantana (Lanthanoid, not related) plants up on the roof (4f) of their side and the guys on the bottom practice acting (Actinoid, not related) out life (5f) experiences.




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