Classroom Resources: Atomic Structure
1 – 25 of 52 Classroom Resources
Orbitals , Model of the Atom, Electrons | High School
Activity: Animation Activity: Orbitals
In this activity, students will use an animation to visualize 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
Activity: A Pound of Numbers
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.
Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Lewis Structures, Polarity, Ions, Electrons, Valence Electrons, Lewis Dot Diagrams, Electrostatic Forces | Middle School, High School
Activity: Animation Activity: Bonding
In this activity, students will use an animation to visualize 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.
Model of the Atom, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Electrons, Valence Electrons, Lewis Dot Diagrams, Electron Configuration, Physical Properties | Middle School, High School
Project: Atomic Holiday Ornaments
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
Lesson Plan: Modeling Atomic Theories with Food
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
Lesson Plan: Acting Out Atomic Structure
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
Lesson Plan: Understanding Static Electricity
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
Lab: Emissions of Light
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
Activity: Bohr Model vs. Quantum Mechanical Model
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
Activity: Electron Configuration and Orbital Diagrams
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
Demonstration: Electrons and Ions Explained with Balloons
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.
Atomic Spectra, Electrons, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School
Lesson Plan: Atomic Spectra for At-Home Learning
In this lesson, students first observe a flame test demonstration conducted by their teacher, and hypothesize about the identity of an unknown sample. Then they make connections in their understanding as they are tasked with building a prism, researching about wavelengths, and creating a model of electron energy levels.
Periodic Table, Introduction, History, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Electrons, Valence Electrons | Middle School, High School
Activity: How the Periodic Table Organizes the Elements Video Questions
In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about the organization of the periodic table. They will learn about how the elements on the periodic table are organized and what their location on the table can tell us about them.
Isotopes, Atoms, Electrons, Subatomic Particles, Elements, History, Introduction, Review, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radioactive Isotopes | Middle School, High School
Activity: What are Isotopes? Video Questions
In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about isotopes. They will learn about the discovery of isotopes, the difference between chemical and nuclear reactions, different kinds of radioactive decay, and some uses of radioactive isotopes.
Orbitals , Electrons, Electron Configuration | High School
Activity: Electrons and Orbitals
In this lesson, students will differentiate between energy levels, sublevels, orbitals, and electrons. Students often confuse these terms related to electrons and this activity should help them develop a stronger understanding of how to distinguish between them.
Emission Spectrum, Electrons, Electrostatic Forces | High School
Lesson Plan: Introduction to PES
In this lesson students will learn how to interpret simple photoelectron spectroscopy spectra by incorporating their knowledge of electron configurations, periodic trends, and Coulomb’s law.
Atomic Theory, Model of the Atom, Subatomic Particles, Isotopes, Ions, Atomic Spectra, Emission Spectrum, Orbitals , Electrons | High School
Lesson Plan: Atomic Structure Unit Plan
The AACT high school classroom resource library has everything you need to put together a unit plan for your classroom: lessons, activities, labs, projects, videos, simulations, and animations. We constructed a unit plan using AACT resources that is designed to teach Atomic Structure to your students.
Electrons | High School
Lab: Determination of the Activation Energy of a Lightstick
In this lesson students will participate in an inquiry-based lab approach to determine the activation energy of the chemiluminescent reaction in a lightstick. Students will use the Vernier LabQuest to collect data related to light and temperature for analysis using the Arrhenius equation.
Electrostatic Forces, Ionization Energy, Subatomic Particles, Electrons | High School
Lesson Plan: Coulomb's Law
In this lesson students explore qualitative applications of Coulomb’s law within atoms and between ions and solvents.
Atomic Theory, Orbitals , Electrons, Model of the Atom, Subatomic Particles, History | Middle School, High School
Activity: Neils Bohr Video Questions
In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about Niels Bohr and learn how he redefined thinking about the atom and the electron. His model of the atom advanced our understanding of subatomic particles and holds an important place in the history and development of atomic theory.
Electromagnetic Spectrum, Atomic Spectra, Electrons | High School
Lab: Mystical Fire Investigation
In this lab, students will create several testable questions based upon their observations of a mystical fire. Students then direct their own laboratory experience as they safely investigate these testable questions through the use of multiple flame tests.
Electromagnetic Spectrum, Atomic Spectra, Electrons, Identifying an Unknown | High School
Lab: The Case of the Contaminated Well
In this lab, students will observe the colors produced when different metal salt solutions are heated in a flame. Students will take on the role of a forensic investigator and use their results to help them determine if collected evidence was contaminated.
Electromagnetic Spectrum, Atomic Spectra, Electrons | High School
Demonstration: Flame Test (Rainbow Demo)
In this demonstration, students will observe the variety of colors produced when different metals or metallic salts are heated in a flame.
Electron Configuration, Precipitate, Balancing Equations, Electrons, Valence Electrons, Solubility Rules, Classification of Reactions | High School
Lesson Plan: Transition Metals Color the World
In this lesson students will complete a series of double replacement reactions to form precipitates. The precipitates will be used as a pigment to create paint.
Electromagnetic Spectrum, Emission Spectrum, Emission Spectrum, Electrons | Middle School, High School
Lesson Plan: Let it Glow
In this lesson students will investigate the fluorescence of a variety of everyday items as well as prepared samples under a black light. Students will examine the concepts of absorption and subsequent emission of photons, as well as wavelength, frequency, and energy of electromagnetic radiation. As extension activities, students will learn about phosphorescence and research real-life applications of photoluminescence.
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