Metals vs Non-Metals

On the Periodic Table

What Makes a Metal a Metal?

  • Has a luster
  • Conducts heat and electricity
  • High density
  • Ductile
  • Malleable
  • Loses electrons in chemical reactions

What are Non Metals Like?


  • Have no luster
  • Do not conduct heat and electricity
  • Brittle
  • Gain electrons in chemical reactions

How Can I Tell Whether It's A Metal or Not?

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All of the elements to the left of the bolded line are metals (excluding Hydrogen), the ones to the right are nonmetals and the elements that border the bolded line are metalloids (special elements with properties of both metals and nonmetals)

Personal Connection

Because the properties of metals and nonmetals are so different, it is important that we know the difference as we encounter each in our everyday lives. For example, the other day I was creating a wire wrapped ring as a Christmas present for a friend. Because the wire's package said it was made out of iron, I knew I would be able to bend and hammer it into place, I also knew it would be attractive as a piece of jewelry due to its silvery luster.

Breakdown of Periodic Table Elements

The NEW Periodic Table Song (Updated)