Classroom Resources: Atomic Structure


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  • Atomic Theory, Model of the Atom, Subatomic Particles, History | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Atomic Theory Timeline Mark as Favorite (1 Favorite)

    In this activity, students will attempt to identify the historical contributions of several famous chemists and also identify the year of their work.

  • Periodic Table, Elements, History, Chemical Properties, Model of the Atom, Subatomic Particles, Valence Electrons | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: The Periodic Table Turns 150 Emergency Lesson Mark as Favorite (4 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about elements, the history and organization of the periodic table, as well as the scientists who contributed to the development of the periodic table through reading the highly rated ChemMatters article, The Periodic Table Turns 150. The lesson includes several activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as an emergency lesson plan for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Atomic Spectra, Electrons, Redox Reaction, Gas Laws, Temperature, Volume, Pressure | High School

    Lesson Plan: Fireworks Emergency Lesson Mark as Favorite (6 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about electron structure, spectroscopy, gas laws, redox reactions, thermochemistry, and safety through reading the highly rated ChemMatters article, Fireworks! The lesson includes several activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as an emergency lesson plan for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Periodic Table, Ionization Energy, Electronegativity | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Introduction to Ionization Energy and Electronegativity with a Tactile Model Mark as Favorite (2 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will investigate the definitions of ionization energy and electronegativity as well as the periodic trends for each through building tactile models using Lego blocks.

  • Electromagnetic Spectrum, Bohr Model, Electrons | High School

    Lesson Plan: DayGlo Fluorescent Pigments Mark as Favorite (6 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about the discovery of the DayGlo fluorescent colors, as well as related topics such as fluorescence, light, color, and energy through reading an article and engaging in related activities. The activities help promote literacy in the science classroom. Parts of this lesson could be used as plans for a substitute teacher.

  • Model of the Atom, Subatomic Particles | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Walking through Walls Mark as Favorite (4 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will examine a story about a General who wanted to create an army of soldiers with the ability to walk through walls. Students will evaluate the scenario, generate questions, and use their understanding of atomic structure to explain why it is impossible to pass through a solid wall.

  • Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radiation, Radioactive Isotopes, Isotopes | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Nuclear Decay Investigation Mark as Favorite (14 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will explore different types of radioactive decay using a decay chain. Through modeling and analyzing a decay chain, students will familiarize themselves with different isotopes, and begin to understand how decay affects the nucleus of an atom.

  • Atomic Radius, Atoms, Ionic Radius, Subatomic Particles, Periodic Table | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Atomic & Ionic Radii Mark as Favorite (2 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will view an animation that explores atomic and ionic radii. They will look at the different sizes of atoms in the third period and the atoms in the sixth group to see trends across periods and down groups. They will also look at an atom and its corresponding cation as well as an atom and its corresponding anion.

  • Orbitals , Model of the Atom, Electrons | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Orbitals Mark as Favorite (11 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will view an animation that explores the shapes of the 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 4s, and 3d orbitals and how they build up and overlap as each successive orbital is added.

  • Atomic Mass, Electrons, Ions, Subatomic Particles, Chemistry Basics, Density, Periodic Table, Quantitative Chemistry, Dimensional Analysis, Mole Concept | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: A Pound of Numbers Mark as Favorite (15 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will review a series of fundamental chemistry questions and select the answer from two choices provided. Upon completion, the sum of all the correct answers will equal the number of grams in one pound. Students can then use dimensional analysis to determine the number of grams in one pound for comparison.

  • Periodic Table, Elements, History, Atomic Mass, Atomic Theory, Isotopes, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Periodic Table and Transuranium Elements Mark as Favorite (19 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about the transuranium elements through reading about some of their discoveries. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Temperature, Temperature, Heat, Photosynthesis, Isotopes | High School

    Lesson Plan: Climate Change and the Keeling Curve Mark as Favorite (13 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about climate change through reading about research behind carbon dioxide emissions, which led to the development of the Keeling Curve. Isotopic tracing as well as photosynthesis are briefly touched on. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Atoms, Model of the Atom, Atomic Theory, Matter, Elements, History, Introduction, Periodic Table | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Animation: Atoms: The Building Blocks of Matter Animation Mark as Favorite (18 Favorites)

    This animation explores the idea that everything is made of atoms, and that since atoms are so extremely small, even small objects contain vast numbers of atoms. Students will see several examples to illustrate this point. Then they will be given a brief overview of the evolution of how people thought about atoms from the ancient Greeks through Dalton. This animation was featured in the May 2022 issue of Chemistry Solutions. **This video has no audio**

  • Atoms, Model of the Atom, Atomic Theory | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Building Blocks of Matter Mark as Favorite (8 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will view an animation that explores the idea that everything is made of atoms, and that since atoms are so extremely small, even small objects contain vast numbers of atoms. They will see several examples to illustrate this point. Then they will be given a brief overview of the evolution of how people thought about atoms from the ancient Greeks through Dalton.

  • Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Lewis Structures, Polarity, Ions, Electrons, Valence Electrons, Lewis Dot Diagrams, Electrostatic Forces | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Bonding Mark as Favorite (5 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will view an animation that explores how different chemical bonds form. Examples of ionic, covalent, and polar covalent bonds are animated, and then students are given a sample of compounds to predict the bonding types.

  • Review, Periodic Table, Physical Properties, Subatomic Particles, Electron Configuration, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Naming Compounds, Molecular Geometry, VSEPR Theory, Lewis Structures, Chemical Change, Limiting Reactant, Stoichiometry | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Chemistry Review Escape Room Mark as Favorite (111 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will work collaboratively to apply their chemistry knowledge in order to “escape the room.” They will work to solve four clues that span a plethora of topics ranging from Atomic Structure all the way up to Stoichiometry. These four clues will point them to four chemical reactions to conduct on a small-scale basis that will correspond with a four-digit combination to a lock. This engaging activity is not only fun for all students but also allows for interactive and collaborative review.

  • Ionic Bonding, Covalent Bonding, Lewis Structures, Model of the Atom, Valence Electrons | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Chemists in the Lab Game Mark as Favorite (39 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will play a game that is modeled after Settlers of Catan to explore how atoms of certain elements combine in fixed ratios to form molecules.

  • Model of the Atom, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Electrons, Valence Electrons, Lewis Dot Diagrams, Electron Configuration, Physical Properties | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Project: Atomic Holiday Ornaments Mark as Favorite (32 Favorites)

    In this project, students will design an atomic holiday ornament for a chosen element, along with a certificate of authenticity to display on a “Chemis-tree”. Students will also have the opportunity to vote on the ornaments created by their classmates.

  • Atomic Theory, Model of the Atom, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Electrons, Orbitals , History, Matter | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Modeling Atomic Theories with Food Mark as Favorite (26 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will create an initial model of an atom (using various food items) drawing from the knowledge that they brought into the class. They will then use the same materials to work through an interactive note-taking lesson on how the model of the atom evolved over time. Having completed the interactive notes, the students return to their original models and adjust as needed.

  • Model of the Atom, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Electrons, Atomic Mass, Isotopes, Periodic Table, Elements | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Acting Out Atomic Structure Mark as Favorite (25 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will model the location and behavior of protons, neutrons, and electrons that make up the structure of atoms, focusing on the first 18 elements on the periodic table. Students will model different elements first by adding protons and neutrons (colored balls) to make the nucleus (a basket). Then, the students themselves will represent the electrons that are always moving around the nucleus yet remaining within their designated energy level. This activity is easiest to complete outside or in a large open room to allow for enough room.

  • Electron Transfer, Electrons, Electricity, Model of the Atom, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Electrons, Observations | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Understanding Static Electricity Mark as Favorite (3 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will complete a series of activities to explore how the imbalance of charges in materials creates static electricity and how those materials interact with others around them. They will describe the relationship between atomic structure, specifically the role of protons and electrons, and static electricity.

  • Emission Spectrum, Atomic Spectra, Electrons, Atomic Theory, Emission Spectrum, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Identifying an Unknown | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Emissions of Light Mark as Favorite (28 Favorites)

    In this lab, students will examine three different ways to excite electrons to produce visible light found in the electromagnetic spectrum. The students will then see that this visible light has a specific color, wavelength, and frequency. They will use their knowledge of the speed of light and plank's equation to examine the energy involved in the emission of light. Finally, the students will then apply their knowledge of the emission spectrum to how the composition of stars is determined.

  • Model of the Atom, Atomic Theory, Electron Configuration, Electrons, Valence Electrons, Orbitals , Subatomic Particles, Atomic Radius, Ionization Energy | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Bohr Model vs. Quantum Mechanical Model Mark as Favorite (48 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will compare two models of the atom using cognitive scaffolding to move from the more simplistic Bohr model to the more abstract and accurate quantum mechanical model. They will examine experimental data and use it to explain periodic trends that cannot be accounted for with the Bohr model.

  • Electron Configuration, Electrons, Atoms, Ions, Orbitals , Valence Electrons, Model of the Atom | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Electron Configuration and Orbital Diagrams Mark as Favorite (54 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will learn how to apply the Aufbau principle, Pauli exclusion principle, and Hund’s rule to model electron configurations and orbital diagrams. They will use colored flat marbles to represent different directional spins of electrons as they fill orbitals based on energy level. They will then look for patterns in the electron configurations and orbital diagrams of various atoms and ions.

  • Ions, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Electrons, Isotopes | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Demonstration: Electrons and Ions Explained with Balloons Mark as Favorite (22 Favorites)

    In this demonstration, helium balloons and clothespin weights are used to demonstrate how adding an electron makes a negative ion, and removing an electron makes a positive ion, a concept that is often confusing to students.

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