Classroom Resources: Atomic Structure


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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Atomic & Ionic Radii

    In this activity, students will use an animation to visualize 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.

  • 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

    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

    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.

  • Periodic Table, Review, Elements, Subatomic Particles, Model of the Atom, Atomic Mass | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Periodic Table Challenge Game

    In this activity, students will play an online game that quizzes their knowledge about the atomic structure of the first 20 elements on the periodic table. Students will be asked to identify different elements based on information related to subatomic particles, placement on the periodic table or from a provided Bohr model. This game has several options for students to choose from, and can be used to review content, or as a formative assessment.

  • 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

    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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

  • 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

    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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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 Mass, Subatomic Particles, Law of Conservation of Energy, Conservation of Mass | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Building a Nuclide

    In this activity, students will construct a model of a nuclide and use this model to investigate why the mass of the nuclide is less than the summative mass of the individual nucleons (protons and neutrons). Additionally, the constructed nuclide will be used to help students conceptualize and differentiate between key lesson terminology (mass defect, strong nuclear force, and nuclear binding energy).

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Half Lives, Subatomic Particles, Periodic Table | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Why are Some Isotopes Radioactive?

    In this activity, students use periodic trends and data to make predictions about what makes an isotope radioactive. They will then verify or refine their predictions using a PhET simulation.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Pros Cons of Nuclear Power, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Fission/Fusion | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Fission vs. Fusion Reading

    In this activity, students will annotate an informational text about fission and fusion using the “text-in-the-middle” reading strategy. They will then compare and contrast the two types of nuclear reactions.

  • Measurements, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, Subatomic Particles | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Quantitatively Puzzling

    In this activity, students will analyze sixteen chemistry-based clues and use the numbers, zero through fifteen as possible answer choices for each one. The clues cover content related to measurement, scientific notation, significant digits, atomic structure and the periodic table.

  • Isotopes, Atoms, Electrons, Subatomic Particles, Elements, History, Introduction, Review, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radioactive Isotopes | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

  • Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Half Lives, Radiation, Radioactive Isotopes, Isotopes, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Radiological Applications of Isotopes

    In this lesson, students will apply their knowledge of nuclear notation using trading cards to investigate and discuss the applications of isotopes in the medical field. The conclusion of the activity includes a summative assessment where students must advertise the radiological services using their knowledge of isotopes and their medical applications

  • Isotopes, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Using Stable Isotopes to Determine Material Origin

    In this lesson, students will review the concept of isotopes and apply the concepts of stability and relative abundance in order to determine the recent travels of a person of interest in a criminal investigation.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Demonstration: The Hoopla about Atoms

    In this demonstration, students use a hula hoop that has a ball in the center (hung from a string) to simulate Rutherford’s gold foil experiment.

  • Periodic Table, Elements, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Periodic Table Connect The Dots

    In this activity, students solve a series of clues about elements in order to uncover a message that has been hidden in the periodic table. Using the clues, students draw lines between identified elements on the table, which then connect to form the message. Two versions of this activity are available, varying the difficulty level of the clues.

  • Periodic Table, Elements, Physical Properties, History, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Which Element Am I?

    In this activity, students will be challenged by a list of clues that describe 50 different elements from the periodic table. Using their own knowledge, or the help of the internet students will determine the identity of each element based on the clue provided.

  • 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.

  • Electrostatic Forces, Ionization Energy, Subatomic Particles, Electrons | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Coulomb's Law

    In this lesson students explore qualitative applications of Coulomb’s law within atoms and between ions and solvents.

  • Periodic Table, History, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Atomic Mass, Atomic Theory, Model of the Atom, Subatomic Particles | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Mendeleev Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer questions about Dimitri Mendeleev. They will learn about his contribution to chemistry, including his organization of the periodic table and awareness to leave gaps for elements that weren’t yet discovered.

  • Periodic Table, History, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Subatomic Particles, Atomic Mass | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: History of the Periodic Table Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about how the periodic table was developed and learn about those who contributed to it.

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