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Introduction to Atomic Structure

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Keywords: Chemistry, Atom, Science, Student Choice
Subject(s): Chemistry, Science
Grades 10 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: C E Jordan High School, Durham, NC
Planned By: Anne Taliaferro
Original Author: Anne Taliaferro, Durham
Grade Level: 10-12
Class Time: 1.5 Hours


North Carolina State Standard:
Chm.1.1.1 Analyze the structure of atoms, isotopes, and ions.
Chm.1.1.2. Analyze an atom in terms of the location of electrons.

Common Core Standard:
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

Opening activity (5 minutes): Students will access prior knowledge of atoms. They will write something they know about an atom on a post-it note and post it on the board as they are coming into the classroom. Students and teachers will then generate questions they have about the structure of the atom.

Content Learning (25 minutes): Students will work individually on the classroom laptops for this portion of the lesson. They will be presented with a learning menu with embedded links through a platform such as Google Classroom. The first row will have content options. Students will have the option of reading an article, watching a video, or playing with a digital simulation in order to learn the basic parts of an atom, their charges, and how the atom is structured according to the Bohr model. The second row of the menu will have processing options. Students can choose to use a guided notes sheet, fill out a hard copy of a graphic organizer, or create a foldable with important vocabulary as they learn the content.

Demonstrating Learning (30-40 minutes): Students will also have options for the product they will produce in this lesson. They can draw and label a picture of the Bohr model of an atom of their choosing, write a detailed paragraph about the structure of an atom, or take a ten question digital quiz that will give them immediate feedback on their answers using Google forms. If done digitally, students can simply turn in the assignment on google classroom. If done on paper, students can hand in to teacher or take a photograph and post the photo to Google Classroom.

During the content learning and demonstrating learning part of the lesson, the teacher can circulate to address individual student needs.

Coming together (20 minutes): Students will login to a Kahoot class quiz game either on their laptop or phone that will go over the basic structure of an atom. During this time the teacher can address any enduring misconceptions while collecting data on student understanding.

Differentiation: This lesson is differentiated through different access points to the science content. It can be further differentiated by suggesting certain paths to certain students based on their ability level. This can be done using color coded cards that correspond to the colors of the options in the learning menu. For example, if a high achieving student is consistently choosing a path through these types of lessons that is allowing them to finish the lesson in five minutes, a more difficult path can be suggested for them. In addition, there can be different levels of guided notes to help students who may need support identify important concepts.

Students can follow this activity with doing research on different types of atoms and their properties.
Materials: Whiteboards, LCD Monitors, Power, Keyboards, Headsets, Mice, High