Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Atoms, and supports the standard of developing models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display an image of the periodic table of elements, like this one:

Ask students:

  • What do you think all of the elements are made of?
  • Which elements are you familiar with? What do you know about them?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read the description on the Atoms topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Did You Know?” or “Gadgets.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about atoms while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a guided tour of  the periodic table of elements, explaining how to use it to learn about each element’s atomic make-up. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map describing the atomic makeup of a specific molecule, like water or salt. Identify the parts of each atom in the molecule. (Essential  Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Creative Coding: Code a sorting game challenging players to determine whether information describes protons, neutrons, or electrons. (Essential Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases)
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze John Dalton’s papers about atomic theory, and cite details to answer accompanying questions. (Essential Skill: Cite specific evidence to support conclusions drawn)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Atoms Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Atoms Quiz

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Sortify: Periodic Table of Elements: Play an interactive sorting game. 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of atoms with these topics: Periodic Table of Elements, Atomic Model, and Ions.

Additional Support Resources:

 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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