Periodic Table Group Names Explained For Parents

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Feb 29, 2024 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2020
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Elemental neon gas concept from the periodic table of chemical elements
Age: 0-99
Read time: 3.0 Min

A periodic table is a compilation of chemical elements in tabular form.

All the elements in the periodic table are arranged according to a few characters. These are: common chemical properties, electron configuration (electron distribution in orbits), and atomic numbers (number of protons in an atom).

The periodic table is divided into seven rows called periods and 18 columns called groups. Here's a condensed list of all the groups in the Periodic table which you can easily teach your children.

To learn more about different names, take a look at these Royal last names or these Thai last names and meanings.

Periodic Table Groups

Group 1: Alkali Metals

Alkali metals are soft, ductile, and good conductors of electricity and heat.  This group includes the elements Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium, and Francium. Alkali metals are very reactive. Compared to other elements they have a low melting and boiling point.

Group 2: Alkaline Earth Metals

The second group of elements in the Periodic table is Alkaline Earth metals. These elements are found in the crust of the earth and are soft and silvery metals. They can conduct heat and electricity and can be made into sheets. Some elements in this group are Beryllium, Calcium, and Magnesium.

Group 3 To Group 12: Transition Metals

The elements from Group 3 to 12 are called Transition Metals. They include the Scandium, Titanium, Vanadium, Chromium, Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Nickel,  Copper, and Zinc families of elements. Transition Metals are hard and dense, are good conductors of heat and electricity, and can be bent easily. Gold, Iron, and Copper are important such elements.

Xenon symbol in front of the periodic table

Group 13: Boron Group

The Boron Group is named after the lead element of Boron. They are good conductors but are rarely found in nature. Aluminium is an exception in this group as it is found in abundance.

Group 14: Carbon Group

The Carbon group, consists of Carbon, Silicon, Germanium, Tin, Lead, and Flerovium.  All the elements are found in nature quite widely, except Flerovium. Elements in this group and their compounds are usually toxic.

Group 15: Pnictogens

The Pnictogens are made of Nitrogen (N), followed by Phosphorus (represented as P), Arsenic (As), Antimony (Sb), Bismuth (Bi), and finally, Moscovium (Mc). While Nitrogen and Phosphorus are found naturally, the others are not with Moscovium being a synthetic element only made in labs.

Group 16: Chalcogens

The Chalcogens have the elements Oxygen, Sulfur, Selenium, Tellurium, and the radioactive element Polonium.  Livermorium is a synthetic element that is part of this group. While Oxygen and Phosphorus are abundant in nature, Selenium and Tellurium are not. Polonium is only found in trace amounts due to radioactive decay and Livermorium is made only in labs.

Einsteinium on the periodic table of elements.

Group 17: Halogens

Halogens consist of Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine, Astatine, and the synthetic element Tennessine. These are non-metals which are poor conductors with low melting and boiling points.  The Halogen group is also the only group where at room temperature all three states of matter can be seen in the elements.

Group 18: Noble Gases

Noble Gases are made of Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Radon, and the synthetic gas Oganesson. They constitute around 0.96% of the atmosphere. These gases have various uses such as lighting, welding, and space exploration, although they are highly unreactive and colorless in nature.

Kidadl has lots of great name articles to inspire you. If you liked our list of periodic table names then why not learn about these Hungarian last names, or these Indian last names all with history and meanings.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

Read full bio >