Build an Atom Lesson


TEKS Science: 8.5 A-C CCRS Science Standards: V-E2, VII-B1, VII-C2


Lesson Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to construct a model of an atom.
  2. Students will be able to determine the charge of an atom or ion.
  3. Students will be able to explain how to determine the numbers and types of subatomic particles in an atom.


Lesson Overview:

The lesson begins with the teacher carefully smashing a cell phone. This serves as an introduction of objects are composed of smaller things. Next, the students are handed element cards where they are introduced to atomic numbers. The students then move to a computer simulation (see Each pair of students is given a set of element cards that resemble the boxes on the periodic table for each element. The students are also given an activity sheet where they use the simulation and their element card to identify the distinguishing parts of each element (name of element, atomic number, mass number, net charge of the atom, number of protons, neutrons, and electrons). Students are introduced to the charges associated with protons, neutrons, and electrons. In addition, students are introduced to a Bohr Model of an atom and become able to draw specific elements.