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Chemistry Protons, Electrons, & Neutrons Guided Inquiry Lesson

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Protons, Electrons, and Neutrons Guided Inquiry Lesson
This is a student-centered, active learning lesson without lecture or notetaking!

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Texas Chemistry Standards (TEKS)
C.6.A: The student is expected to understand the experimental design and conclusions used in the development of modern atomic theory, including Dalton’s Postulates, Thomson’s discovery of electron properties, Rutherford’s nuclear atom, and Bohr’s nuclear atom.

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Lesson Summary:
This guided inquiry lesson enables students to construct their own understanding of how to determine the number of protons, electrons, and neutrons in an atom. They also discover the role of protons, electrons, and neutrons in determining the structure, charge, and identity of an atom. Students are able to actively learn the material without lecture or note taking.

Introduction
Students investigate illustrations of lithium and nitrogen atoms. For each atom, there are three illustrations of the neutral form of the atom and two illustrations of the ion form of the atom. Students count the number of protons, electrons, and neutrons in each atom and record this information on a data sheet. The data sheet is used throughout the lesson to discover similarities and differences between the atoms.

Part 1: Protons
• Using the information that they recorded on their data sheet, students are able to discover that: 1) the number of protons is different for different atoms and determines the identity of the atom; 2) the bottom left number of an atom symbol is equal to the number of protons; 3) the atomic number is equal to the number of protons.

• Students work through eight task cards which require them to determine the number of protons in an atom by using atom symbols and periodic table boxes.

Part 2: Electrons
• Students investigate a colorful handout illustrating how the number of protons and electrons determines the charge of the atom. They are able to discover that: 1) atoms with the same number of protons and electrons have a neutral charge; 2) losing electrons results in a positively charged ion and gaining electrons results in a negatively charged ion; 3) the charge number in the atom symbol represents the number of electrons lost or gained; 4) the number of electrons in a neutral atom can be determined the same way as the number of protons; 5) the number of electrons in an ion can be determined by adding or subtracting from the bottom left number of the atom symbol or the atomic number.

• Students work through eight task cards which require them to determine the number of electrons in an atom by using atom symbols and periodic table boxes.

Neutrons
• Using the information that they recorded on their data sheet, students are able to discover that: 1) the top left number in the atom symbol is called the mass number and is equal to the number of protons plus the number of electrons; 2) the atomic mass in the periodic table is equal to the mass number rounded to a whole number; 3) the number of neutrons in an atom is equal to the top number of the atom symbol minus the bottom number of the atom symbol, as well as the atomic mass rounded to a whole number minus the atomic number.

• Students work through eight task cards which require them to determine the number of neutrons in an atom by using atom symbols and periodic table boxes.

Practice
Students use atom symbols to create pictures showing the correct location and number of protons, neutrons, and electrons in the atoms.

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

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Learning Objectives (Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy):
Remembering: Recognize similarities and differences in the subatomic particles of different atoms.
Understanding: Explain the following terms: proton, neutron, electron, subatomic particle, neutral atom, ion, cation, anion, atomic number, atomic mass, mass number.
Applying: Use atom symbols and the periodic table to determine the number of protons, electrons, and neutrons in an atom.
Analyzing: Differentiate between: 1) neutral atoms, cations, and anions; 2) atomic number, atomic mass, and mass number.
Evaluating: Discuss how atoms symbols and the periodic table can be used to determine the number of protons, electrons, and neutrons in an atom.
Creating: Use atom symbols and the periodic table to create diagrams showing the location and correct number of protons, electrons, and neutrons in different atoms.

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Included in this Download:
• Cover page (1 page)
• Guided inquiry lesson (13 pages)
• Colorful handout illustrating the relationship between protons,
electrons, and charge(1 page)
• Atom cards illustrating the neutral and ion forms of lithium
and nitrogen atoms (2 pages)
• Atom data sheet to record data from the atom cards (1 page)
• Proton, electron, and neutron task card sets - 6 versions each (36 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 (13 pages)

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Kendo's Chemistry Store
Total Pages
73
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
50 Minutes

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Chemistry Protons, Electrons, & Neutrons Guided Inquiry Lesson
Chemistry Protons, Electrons, & Neutrons Guided Inquiry Lesson
Chemistry Protons, Electrons, & Neutrons Guided Inquiry Lesson
Chemistry Protons, Electrons, & Neutrons Guided Inquiry Lesson
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