Classroom Resources: Atomic Structure


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  • Molecular Structure, Covalent Bonding, Molecular Formula, Review, Atoms | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Atom Catcher Game

    In this activity, students will make several different molecules out of four types of atoms: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen in an online game. In order to be successful, the student must move a beaker on the screen to catch the correct type and number of atoms needed to form a particular molecule. Students can score points by making as many correct molecules as possible in a given amount of time.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Animation: Atoms: The Building Blocks of Matter Animation

    In this animation, students will be introduced to 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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Building Blocks of Matter

    In this activity, students will view an animation that introduces them to 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.

  • 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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Chemists in the Lab Game

    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 | 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 Radius, Scientific Notation, Measurements | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Powers of 10 - How Small Is an Atom?

    In this activity, students will use an online interactive to investigate the size of an atom, and compare the size of the atom to other objects using scientific notation.

  • Periodic Table, Introduction, History, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Electrons, Valence Electrons | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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

    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.

  • Periodic Table, Density, Elements, Atomic Mass, Atomic Radius, Electronegativity | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Organizing the Periodic Table

    In this activity, students are challenged to organize elements into the shape of the periodic table based on trends in data. Students are given a set of cards, each card representing an element, and containing five data points for consideration. The data that students will analyze includes atomic mass, atomic radius, melting point, density and electronegativity.

  • 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, 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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Radiation, Half Lives, Subatomic Particles, Model of the Atom, History | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Marie Curie Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a short video and learn about Marie Curie, her Nobel Prizes, radiation experiments, and discovery of new elements.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Ernest Rutherford Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video about Ernest Rutherford. They will learn about his great contributions to chemistry, including his study of alpha particles and his use of the gold foil experiment. They will also find out that he won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his studies on radioactive substances.

  • Isotopes, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Candy Isotopes & Atomic Mass

    In this activity, students will learn about isotopes and be introduced to basic average atomic mass calculations. They will use simple numbers and M&M candies to model ratios that approximate real world atomic mass values on the periodic table.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Atomic Theory, History, Pros Cons of Nuclear Power, Radiation, Subatomic Particles | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Lise Meitner Video Questions

    In this activity, students will complete a short series of questions as they watch the Founders of Chemistry video about Lise Meitner. The video tells the story of Lise Meitner, a pioneering female scientist in the field of nuclear chemistry, who was denied a Nobel Prize but has an Element named in her honor.

  • Pros Cons of Nuclear Power, Radiation, Radioactive Isotopes, Atomic Theory, Atoms, History | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Video: Lise Meitner Video

    This video tells the story of Lise Meitner, a pioneering female scientist in the field of nuclear chemistry, who was denied a Nobel Prize but has an Element named in her honor.

  • Periodic Table, Elements, History, Subatomic Particles, Atomic Mass, Ionic Bonding, Covalent Bonding | Middle School, High School

    Project: Exploring Elements

    In this project, students will select an element and then use Ptable.com to explore aspects of the element including its periodicity, electron configuration, history, and uses in industry.

  • Isotopes, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | High School, Middle School

    Simulation: Isotopes & Calculating Average Atomic Mass

    In the May 2017 simulation, students first learn how the average atomic mass is determined through a tutorial based on the isotope abundance for Carbon. Students will then interact within a workspace where they will select the number of isotopes, the mass of each isotope as well as their abundancies in order to successfully build a mystery element. Finally they will use their choices to calculate the average atomic mass of the mystery element.

  • Isotopes, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Simulation Activity: Isotopes & Calculating Average Atomic Mass

    In this simulation, students first learn how the average atomic mass is determined through a tutorial based on the isotope abundance for Carbon. Students will then interact within a workspace where they will select the number of isotopes, the mass of each isotope as well as their abundancies in order to successfully build a mystery element. Finally they will use their choices to calculate the average atomic mass of the mystery element.

  • Subatomic Particles, Model of the Atom, Atomic Mass, Electrons | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Project: Element Project

    In this project, students will become familiar with and have a workable understanding of atomic structure. The students will also create and construct a model of an atom.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Element Brochure

    In this activity, students will research a common element from the periodic table and create a brochure about it. Students will include information about its atomic structure, subatomic particles, Bohr model, chemical symbol, and common uses.

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