7-E Lesson Plan: Atomic Theory

Author: Annette Holder
Date: July 12th, 2009
Topic: Atomic Theory
Title: Exploring the development of the atomic theory
Grade Level: ninth/tenth
Lesson Summary: By using a variety of styles students will develop an understanding of the historical perspectives of the atomic theory.

Arkansas Science Frameworks SLEs: (list # and text of each SLE)
Summarize the development of the current atomic theory
Main SLE covered in this activity:
NS.11.PS.3: Summarize the development of the current atomic theory.

Objectives: The learner will:
1) Develop an historical understanding of the development of the current atomic theory, those involved and how world history has been affected.
Essential Question: What is matter made of? How do we know? Who discovered the atom? Who discovered the various subatomic particles?

Timeline: (about how many class periods, or minutes this lesson takes)
6 - 7 fifty minute class periods
Materials: 5 boxes with holes large enough for students hands to fit inside; 2 each of the following: baseball, pinecone, rock, holly leaf, bb’s, marble, golf ball; student data sheets, whiteboards, Gold Foil atom; marbles, computers
Teacher Preparation: (what the teacher needs to do ahead of time to get ready for this lesson; e.g. assemble materials, assign groups, schedule parents)
Assign students to groups of two, collect the above materials.
Day 1: The teacher needs to prepare data sheet, collect materials; prepare class KWL paper. “Guess What Activity”
Day 2: Copies of student data sheet, gold foil atom, marbles.
Days 3 & 4: Powerpoint: Atomic Theory
Day 5:
Day 6:

Elicit: (Something a teacher does to draw on students’ prior knowledge)
Have students whiteboard the answers to the following questions: What is matter made of? How do we know? Who discovered the atom? How did they do it?
Engage: (something a teacher does to pique students’ interest; examples could include showing a short video from United Streaming, YouTube, TeacherTube, etc.; wearing something strange like an anatomy apron/football jersey/solar eclipse glasses, etc., doing a short demonstration, reading a newspaper headline, etc.)
“Guess What Activity” Prepare 5 large boxes with a hole large enough for a student’s hand to fit. You may need a piece of cloth to act as a shield. The object is for students to determine what the object is inside the box by using their sense of touch only. Students are to record their observations in their data sheets using words and diagrams. At the end of the activity, the student should infer what is inside the box.
Post on a whiteboard and discuss. Allow students to see a container of items that could be in the boxes and see if that improves their inferences. Ask them why? (because they have more information)

Explore: (typically done by students in pairs or small groups to investigate a concept using teacher-provided materials and possibly instructions)
“Gold Foil Activity” Students will use a marble to simulate the alpha particles used in Rutherford’s Gold Foil experiment. They will roll the marble through a pre-made ‘atom’, mark the exit point on a piece of paper placed on the top of the ‘atom’. Students should be able to infer the location and shape of the ‘nucleus’.
Explain: (usually done by a reporter from each group informing the whole class what happened in their groups’ investigation/activity and what they think explains it)
Use powerpoint to discuss historical people and their contributions to the atomic theory

Elaborate: (usually done by the teacher to clarify the student reporters’ ideas; summarize what was learned, tell students other areas of science in which this concept is used, tell students other disciplines (like math, geography, etc.) to which the concept relates; give ideas for either horizontal (for students who need to see it again to grasp the concept) or vertical enrichment (GT students or Science Fair ideas)

Evaluate: (some sort of formal or informal assessment; rubric for group work which could be scored by teacher, students, or group members, quiz, etc.)
Working in pairs students will build an electronic timeline that includes the following: Democritus, Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford, Bohr, Chadwick, and electron cloud model.
Extend: (connect learning to authentic life experiences)

Language Arts:

Social Studies:
Parental Involvement:
Technology Connections: Computer, LCD projector, timetoast.com website to develop timeline.
Resources: See delicious.com/arholder2003 for websites containing background information on these topics.
This lesson: X is original was adapted from _’s original lesson.