Elements and Compounds Printable Worksheets

Elements are substances that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical means. Compounds are substances that composed of two or more elements that are chemically combined. Compounds can be broken down into elements. These worksheets focus on making these concepts concrete for students.

  1. Acrostic Poem
  2. Bank On It!
  3. Cryptogram
  4. Do The Research!
  5. Element Names Worksheet - Give the name for each of the element symbols below.
  6. Element Names Worksheet 2
  7. Element Names Worksheet 3
  8. Element Symbols Worksheet 1 - Now write the symbol for the names you are given.
  9. Element Symbols Worksheet 2
  10. Element Symbols Worksheet 3
  11. Group Creative Writing
  12. If I Were A.... ?
  13. KWL
  14. Maze
  15. Parts of An Atom - Label the parts of the atom pictured below. Make sure to include all of the words in the word bank.
  16. Periodic Table - A full printable version in black and white.
  17. Reading Comprehension
  18. Venn Diagram: Comparing Elements and Compounds
  19. Vocabulary Quiz
  20. Vocabulary List & Definitions
  21. Word Chop
  22. Word Search

Elements and Compounds Related Teacher Resources

  1. Atomic Structure Lesson Plans
  2. Basic Science Principle Lesson Plans
  3. Chemistry Lesson Plans
  4. Chemical Reaction Lesson Plans
  5. Chemistry Web Sites For Science Teachers
  6. Element, Compound Lesson Plans
  7. Elements, Compounds, Mixtures Teaching Theme
  8. Lesson Plans On Matter

Elements and Compounds Bulletin Boards and Writing Paper

  1. Atom Writing Paper
  2. Girl Pouring
  3. Flask
  4. Flasks and Test Tubes
  5. Mad Science
  6. Student Lab Scene
  7. Test Tube Look

What are Elements and Compounds?

Every physical object in the world is made up of matter. Matter is simply anything that occupies space and has mass. The matter is classified into pure substances and mixtures. Pure substances may be elements (cannot be separated into simpler substances) and compounds (can be separated into simpler substances and elements).

Elements and compounds are two forms in which natural substances are found. Their difference is that elements comprise one type of atom, whereas a compound comprises different elements. The periodic table lists elements according to their atomic numbers, from the lowest atomic number to the highest. In a periodic table, the columns represent elements of similar properties and groups.


Basic Unit The basic building block of matter is an atom. Two or more atoms combine to form molecules. Elements and compounds are both made up of atoms. An element has only one kind of atom, whereas compounds contain different atoms. An oxygen molecule has two oxygen atoms. Whereas the compound, carbon dioxide, has two carbon atoms and one oxygen atom.
Pure Substances If an element comprises one atom, compounds are made up of only one kind of molecule. In a way, they both are pure since breaking them down would only result in similar types of sub-particles. But breaking a compound would result in the loss of its specific chemical properties. This property of having properties indicates that the substance is pure.
Homogeneous substance Elements and compounds are pure substances, whereas mixtures are not. Pure substances are homogenous because all the molecules or atoms that combine to form them have the same chemical and physical properties. Water will remain pure with its composition of oxygen and hydrogen but put a spoonful of sugar in it and it turns impure. Both elements and compounds have an even appearance and composition as long as they retain their particular atomic or molecular composition.
Bonds link atoms Elements and compounds are composed of atoms that stay together through bonds. Atoms form bonds to stabilize their outer electron shells. They do so by sharing electrons. In the same way, atoms in elements and compounds bond together to make a particular substance.


  Elements Compounds
Definition Elements is a pure substance that is composed of only one type of atom. Compounds are formed by two or more types of elements that are in fixed proportions and chemically united.
Classification Elements are classified as metals, nonmetals, or metalloids. Compounds are classified as ionic, molecular, or metallic according to their bonds.
Representation Symbols represent elements. For example, sodium is represented by Na. The compound is represented by the chemical formula that represents symbols of its elements.
Properties by composition The single type of atom that makes up the element represents its properties. The same type of molecules makes up the compound in the case of compounds.
Breakdown ability Chemical reactions cannot break down elements into simpler substances. Compounds can be separated into their simpler substances by chemical methods.
Examples Sodium Na, Chlorine Cl, Gold Au Water H2O, Sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3, Sodium chloride NaCl


Elements, as previously described, have the same type of atoms in their structure. One element gets a single entry in the periodic table. They have fixed atomic numbers and cannot be broken down into simpler parts. However, atoms of an element might give rise to different atomic mass due to the difference in neutrons of the atoms that make it up. This difference in neutrons gives rise to families of elements called isotopes.

Isotopes are two or more atoms that make up an element, with different neutron numbers. Isotopes may be radioactive as well. Elements are represented by a symbol: O for Oxygen, Ag for silver, and Na for Sodium. Currently, 118 elements are known.
Classification of elements:

Elements are classified as metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. In a periodic table, elements are arranged in vertical columns called groups. Groups are numbered from 1 to 8. The properties of elements in a group are similar. There are 7 horizontal rows called periods. While moving from left to right, properties change from metallic to non-metallic in a period.

Examples of elements

Elements can exist in the following forms:

Atom: Elements can consist of just one atom, like Helium (He)

Ion: For example, copper ion (Cu++), Sodium ion (Na+)

Isotope: Carbon has 3 isotopes, Carbon 12, Carbon 13, and Carbon 14

Molecule: When atoms chemically bond together, they form molecules. E.g., Oxygen molecule (O2), Hydrogen molecule (H2).


A compound is a substance that has two or more elements combined chemically in fixed proportions. A molecule is the smallest part of a compound. Compounds may be classified according to the nature of the chemical bond present in their atoms.


Ionic compounds have oppositely charged ions attracted and bound together by ionic bonds. The most common example is sodium chloride, which has a positively charged sodium ion and a negatively charged chloride ion.

Molecular compounds contain molecules that are held together by covalent bonds, e.g., the water molecule has 2 hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom by sharing electrons.

Compounds are also classified as organic compounds (which contain carbon atoms bound with hydrogen) and inorganic compounds (which do not contain carbon).

Examples of compounds:

Sugar(C12H2O11) is a compound. It has carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in its composition.

Sodium bicarbonate has the formula NaHCO3. It has a sodium cation and a bicarbonate anion.

Quick review

Elements are pure substances that are composed of only one type of atom, e.g., Cl, Na.

Compounds are formed by two or more types of elements that are in fixed proportions and chemically united, e.g., NaCl, H2O.

Elements are classified as metals, nonmetals, and metalloids.

Elements can exist in the following forms: atom, ion, isotope, and molecule.

Compounds can be classified as ionic, molecular, organic, inorganic, etc.

Examples of compounds include sugar(C12H2O11), sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), etc.