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This is a student-centered, active learning lesson without lecture or notetaking!

C.6.D: The student is expected to use isotopic composition to calculate average atomic mass of an

element.

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This guided inquiry lesson enables students to construct their own understanding of the structure of isotopes and how to calculate atomic mass. Students are able to actively learn the material without lecture or note taking.

• Students sort ten cards into four groups based on the number of protons in each atom. They record the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons for each atom. From this information, they construct the atom symbol for each atom.

• Using the data from their card sort, students are asked to determine two things that are different between the atoms in each group. They recognize that the number of neutrons and the mass numbers are different for each atom within a group.

• Students learn that atoms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons and mass numbers are called isotopes.

• Students review how to determine percentage by determining the percent of boys and girls in their classroom.

• Students are given a bag of poker chips that are labeled with the isotope symbols for boron-10 and boron-11. They use the poker chips to determine the percentage of each isotope in their sample.

• Students learn that the term “percent abundance” is used in place of “percentage” when referring to isotopes.

• Students are shown the percent abundance and mass data for the isotopes of nickel, as well as the periodic square for nickel.

• Students are reminded how to calculate the average of a group of numbers and asked to calculate the average mass of the nickel isotopes. They are then asked to compare this number to the atomic mass number for nickel. The students discover that these two numbers are not the same, enabling them to conclude that the atomic mass is not the average of the isotope masses.

• Students are shown how to calculate a weighted average and asked to calculate the average weighted mass of the nickel isotopes. They are then asked to compare this number to the atomic mass for nickel. The students discover that these two numbers are the same, enabling them to conclude that the atomic mass is weighted average of the isotope masses.

Students work through eight task cards which require them to demonstrate their understanding of isotopes and calculate the atomic mass from isotope data.

Students are provided with a student study sheet summarizing all of the important concepts and vocabulary in this lesson.

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• Remembering:Identify two differences between the isotopes of an element.

• Understanding: Explain the following terms: isotope, percentage, percent abundance, average, weighted average, average weighted mass, atomic mass.

• Applying: Use atom symbols to differentiate between the isotopes of an atom.

• Analyzing: Calculate: 1) the percentage of each part of a sample; 2) the percent abundance of isotopes; 3) the average of a group of numbers; 4) the weighted average of the isotopes of an atom.

• Evaluating: Discuss how atomic mass numbers are determined from isotope data.

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• Cover page (1 page)

• Guided inquiry lesson (7 pages)

• Atom cards illustrating the subatomic particles in isotopes (2 pages)

• Isotope task card sets - 6 versions each (12 pages)

• Task card answers (1 page)

• Task card answer sheet (1 page)

• Student study sheets (2 pages)

• Teacher notes (2 pages)

• Guided inquiry lesson with suggested answers (8 pages)

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• Please go to your

• Look for the

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Kendo's Chemistry Store

Total Pages

36 pages

Answer Key

Included

Teaching Duration

50 minutes

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