Today we learned about the history of elements through an activity called Mr. Mime (see video above). I had a student read the three paragraphs on Page 202 (below), and then for each fill-in-the-blank, I acted out the correct word. I think those three paragraphs do a pretty good job at summarizing the history of early chemistry.
After that, students filled out the rest of Page 202. They started by reviewing some definitions, and finished with a word-scramble type activity on the back. All of this should have been a review of material from 7th grade.