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, 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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**

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Periodic Table, Elements, Review, Atomic Radius, Ions, Ionization Energy, Atomic Mass | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Reviewing the Periodic Table and Periodic Trends Mark as Favorite (55 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will use their knowledge of the periodic table and periodic trends to add fictional elements to a periodic table based on their properties. Once the elements are in the correct place they will reveal a hidden message. This review activity will help students prepare for a summative assessment such as a unit test or final exam.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Powers of 10 - How Small Is an Atom? Mark as Favorite (22 Favorites)

    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.

  • Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles, Law of Conservation of Energy, Conservation of Mass | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Building a Nuclide Mark as Favorite (5 Favorites)

    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? Mark as Favorite (57 Favorites)

    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 Mark as Favorite (44 Favorites)

    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 Mark as Favorite (34 Favorites)

    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.

  • Periodic Table, Atomic Radius, Ionization Energy, Electronegativity | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Periodic War Mark as Favorite (97 Favorites)

    In this activity, students play a card game to apply their knowledge of the periodic trends of the main group elements.

  • 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 Mark as Favorite (66 Favorites)

    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 Mark as Favorite (51 Favorites)

    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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Electrons and Orbitals Mark as Favorite (61 Favorites)

    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.

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