Lesson Plan Day: 32         10/7


Teacher: P. Kirk

Subject: Science

Course: Chemistry

Topic: Structure of the atom. Types, location, charge and number of subatomic particles.



C.PM.1: Atomic structure - Evolution of atomic models/theory


Define an atom. Learn the evolution of atomic models.  Discuss the types, charges and location of particles within the atom. Gain an understanding of how experimentation has led to an understanding of the size, shape, charge, parts and structure of the atom.

Students will mimic the Rutherford particle experiments that allowed us to determine the presence of a positive, dense nucleus and the size an atom.


Nucleus, proton, electron, neutron, alpha particle, source, scintillations



Students will roll marbles on the floor at shapes (2 boards for Shapes Activity I and 1 board for Shapes Activity II) that are hidden beneath boards in order to determine their shape (Hypothesis) without looking. This process will mimic Rutherford's experiment where he directed a stream of alpha particles at a thin sheet of gold foil in order to discover that a relatively large positive nucleus existed in atoms that deflected the path of the positive alpha particles. He was quoted as saying that the particles that were deflected back at the source were as amazing as bullets bouncing off of a sheet of tissue paper.  Students will answer questions about the activity and turn in for a grade.



The teacher will lay out the boards on the floor with the larger shapes for Activity I and smaller shapes with smaller marbles for Activity II. Students will rotate between 2 boards 8minutes each. Lift the boards after students did Activity I show (Actual) and replace the shape with smaller shape while students trade out large marbles for smaller marbles. Should take about 10minutes for Activity II. Reveal the shapes to show (Actual). Teacher will grade the lab for 10 to 15 points for general idea that we can determine the shape of something that we can't see with out eyes if we design a good experiment.


Shapes for Activity I with large marbles, Shapes for Activity II with small marbles. The boards that sit atop the shapes. Copies of the lab activity.



Teacher should monitor student progress through the experiment making sure they do not cheat and look under the boards. Can collect individual or group papers for grading the 10 to 15 point lab activity.


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Last modified: 08/13/19