“The Atoms Family” is an activity I have used many times and I still enjoy, and the kids get a kick out of it. There is a great power point to go along with it and I reformatted the handouts to fit into their interactive notebooks. I did find a great video clip that another teacher posted showing her class singing the song.
After we sang it, I showed the video to my classes and they thought it was so cool to see these older kids singing the same song. We then did the Atoms Family Math handout. After doing a problem together, I had volunteers come up to the SmartBoard to solve the problems while everyone else tried them on their own, checking their answers with the ones on the board. After the first few problems, they worked at their own pace, and I checked their answers individually.
To glue the handout into the notebook, I folded over the whole left edge into a 1/2 in tab and showed them how to glue the tab part into their notebook so that the handout was attached to the page and they were able to flip the handout back and forth to see both sides.
Using a great power point I found online, I created this atomic model timeline foldable to go along with it. The person who made the ppt, used images from the BrainPOP movie for the atomic models and scientists, and an image of Bohr from an episode of the Simpsons . I photocopied it so that it would be 2-sided. The students then folded it in half using the ”hot dog” fold and cut along the dotted lines to make flaps that lifted.
As we discussed the power point, they took bulleted notes on the flap for each model/scientist. We also talked about how Bohr worked on the Atomic Bomb during WW2, about Einstein’s letter to Roosevelt, the race against the Germans to build the first atomic bomb, and the bombing of Japan. Next time we meet, I want to show some quick video clips from the movie “Fat Man, Little Boy” and actual footage from the Trinity testing.
One of my personal goals this year was to incorporate more history and information about these fascinating people into our studies. In the past I always felt like I didn’t have enough time, but this year I am weaving it in and it doesn’t really take up as much time as I thought it might.
After break, I will take some pics of completed timelines and the jigsaw activity we did with notes from the BrainPOP Movie.
To continue our exploration of elements, compounds, and mixtures, I set up an activity using Legos to model and further explore this concept. Each group of two students received 12 Legos in a quart sized baggie with 3 different colors, 4 pieces of each color. I explained how each Lego represents one atom. Just like real atoms, some Legos were bigger than others. Each color represented an atom of a different element. We reviewed the definitions for compounds and mixtures before we started the activity.
What I really liked about this activity was that it took an abstract concept and made it concrete for them, they could handle the Legos, see the different colors, they could see how elements create compounds, snapping the Legos together represented chemical bonds, and so forth. You could see the “a-ha” moments. The kids also had fun playing with the Legos. One boy made a little robot and asked – “Is this a compound?” And I asked, “Does it have 2 or more different elements bonded together?” And he said ”Yes!”, and I said, “Well, then it’s a compound! Good job!”
After the activity, to reinforce the concepts, I had a cut’n paste activity and review sheet. They had to have the cut’n paste checked before they glued it in. To borrow a quote from wood shop, I ask them to “dry fit” the pieces before they glued anything.