Easy Atomic Models

I was excited when my CKE Physics book arrived in the mail last Spring.

My excitement turned to panic when I started planning out our school year and noticed that Unit Two discussed atomic particles.

My children have difficulty understanding that their town is in a county, which is in a state, inside a country, on Earth. How was I ever going to explain that an atomic particle was in an atom, which was part of a molecule, that created compounds, that made their body?

Lucky me, I didn’t have to explain anything. By the time we made it to Lesson 5 my girls were following along very well. They couldn’t wait to build one.

Building Atomic Models {page 57}

Easy Atomic Models

The equipment list included Styrofoam balls, of varying sizes, and paint. I’m completely allergic to painting Styrofoam. Not really, but it’s like using glitter; it just gets my blood racing and something best left to Grandma’s house. I expected a lot of fuss because my kids hate to substitute anything; however, PlayDoh seems to be the product that forgives all.

I started out by writing on our board the details for our atom. Doodlebug was quick to point out that the picture I drew looked just like the introduction to Jimmy Neutron.

Atomic Modeling

Since we were skipping the whole “paint the Styrofoam” part and using colored dough, we were able to invite our PreK girl to join in the fun. She didn’t exactly understand why she was rolling up little protons but she had a blast participating.

PreK Atomic Modeling

Everyone carefully counted out how many of each color they needed. I was reprimanded twice for getting excited and making too many.

Making Neutrons

Making Subatomic Particles

We squished our neutrons and protons together to form one big nucleus, and used toothpicks to position our electrons in our extranuclear region.

It wasn’t until the project was over that Taderbug recognized the element we were making. Lithium- “that stuff they make our batteries out of”.

We then used their “Think About It” section to add a little fun to our Math Journal by drawing out an atom of lead. The counting up to 125 was a lot of work!

This week we’ll make a few more models with some Atomic Cookies (page 59).

Last week I used Unit Two of CKE Physics as the base for our schoolwork, covering multiple subjects with these lessons. It was easy and very effective with our girls. I wrote more about our week on my blog Chaos Appreciation.

The Tadey

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