Loading please wait

The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Try an activity or get started for free

Learn to Identify Simple Chemical Symbols for Elements and Molecules

In this worksheet, students will learn to Identify simple chemical symbols for elements and molecules.

'Learn to Identify Simple Chemical Symbols for Elements and Molecules' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 8 Science worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Chemistry: Atoms, Elements and Compounds

Curriculum subtopic:   Chemical Symbols and Formulae

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

The periodic table is a big list of all the elements that exist - all 118 of them to be precise. It is big enough already, but imagine how big it would need to be if every element was written out in full!


Rather than writing the full name of each element in the table, scientists have come up with symbols for each one. An element's symbol can be a single capital letter or a capital letter followed by a lower case letter. 


the periodic table


Some of the elements have a symbol that is very much like its name, for example carbon has the symbol C and magnesium has the symbol Mg. But some elements' names have come from Latin, for example the Latin name for gold is aurum. So the symbol for gold is Au.


It's important to remember that the first letter of an element's symbol must be a capital letter. If the symbol has two letters, then the second one will be lower case.


Many non-metal elements are made of molecules, for example chlorine and oxygen. That means that there are two atoms of the element in each molecule. 

Hydrogen has the formula H2. This means that a molecule of hydrogen contains two atoms of hydrogen joined together.


hydrogen molecule


The little number two is key here. It tells us that hydrogen exists as a molecule rather than on its own. 


And that's it! On to the questions ....


It might be helpful to have a paper copy of the periodic table in front of you because it can be hard to read the whole table on the screen. Otherwise a magnifying glass might be handy!!

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started

Try an activity or get started for free

  • National Tutoring Awards 2023 Shortlisted / Parents
    National Tutoring Awards 2023 Shortlisted
  • Private-Tutoring-WINNER-EducationInvestor-Awards / Parents
    Winner - Private Tutoring
  • Bett Awards Finalist / Parents
  • Winner - Best for Home Learning / Parents
    Winner - Best for Home Learning / Parents