Students demonstrate their understanding of the atomic structure of a Carbon atom by making a model out of pinto beans, split peas, and white beans as well as reseach several teacher approved interactive websites for the element's importance but teacher may modify and delete this if there is no access to the web or reference a textbook. This hands on activity helps students visualize the atom's structure and function of each part as well as distinguish key scientific terms like proton, neutron, electron, atomic number, atomic mass, ionic bonding and covalent bonding. Atom Model Level 2 and 3 are available as well because in my 15 years of teaching, students need practice calculating protons, neutrons, electrons to truly grasp the skill of demonstrating this understanding of atomic science. Level one focuses on the most common element on earth while level two progresses to 4 choices of elements and level three to 4 different choices elements of increasing difficulty.
*I usually have teams of four where each team member has a different element neighboring each other in the periodic table.
*I have students use clear tape rather than glue because it less messy and no wait time for drying.
*Editable as this hands on activity references Holt Physical Science textbook but you can easily use a different reference
*beans are CHEAP and go a long way for six classes
*use 3 dixie cups for each pair of students to distribute beans