The periodic table is almost always shown in this form...
Notice the different colors that are used to indicate elements of different character. The noble gasses are cyan blue, the non-metallic elements are green, the metaloids are lemon-yellow color, and the overt metals are yellow-orange, red-orange, red, dark red and magenta.
But if you look at the color positions, there is a glaring exception to the color-clustering phenomenon: hydrogen (H) is in the wrong place. Another "alternative" periodic table is to place hydrogen above fluorine (F).
[insert missing graphic here]
Like fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br) and iodine (I), hydrogen can accept an electron to complete its outer shell of two electrons. When this happens, it is called a hydride anion, and is fittingly associated with fluoride, chloride, bromide and iodide anions, all of which have a negative charge of one--and only one. While this is an attractive option for some chemists, my organic chemistry professor in college favored placing hydrogen (H) above carbon (C).
This solves the color-connectedness problem and associates hydrogen with carbon, which is a common association in chemistry (hydrocarbons) because of their similar electronegativities. The carbon-hydrogen bond is nearly non-polar, and the chemistry of altering such stable bonds has earned its own chapter in organic chemistry texts.
The next awkwardness is the disconnectedness of the right and left sides of the periodic table. Why do the table rows start with elements 1, 3, 11, 19, 37, 55 and 87 on the left edge and end with elements 2, 10, 18, 26, 54 and 86 on the right edge? After all, elements 10 and 11 (and 18 and 19) have just as much standing to be next to each other as any other elements in the sequence of atomic number. To fix this problem, let's move them in big color blocks to be next to each other. [show graphic of movement]
Now that we have moved the metals to make element 3 next to element 2, we see the top row as H, Ne, Li and Be, which are elements 1, 2, 3 and 4. Then the row breaks to the second row with 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, which are B, C. N, O, F, Ne, Na and Mg. With the exception of Al (element 13) way off to the right (keeping out color blocks intact), this makes some good sense. Notice that the elements to the left of the noble gasses all have a capacity of gaining electrons to move towards the noble gasses, and elements on the right all have the capacity of losing electrons to move towards the noble gasses
So it is now intuitively obvious why the column of elements immediately to the left of the noble gasses (the halides) wants to move towards the right and the column to the right (alkali metals) wants to move towards the left. They all want to pretend to be noble gasses at the Royal Ball.
There's more along these lines: jump to epicylindrical periodic table...
... where every element is next to both of its neighbors (except for hydrogen, which does not have an element 0 to its left).
This particular graphic chows elements in colors by their outer electrons as paired or unpaired (Revici's metabolic character) and adds biological content that is not warranted here. But these could be changed to the same color scheme used in the tables above.
Here's a picture of the assembled epicylindrical periodic table:
I think it an excellent educational aid to the first-time chemistry student.
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