This manipulative worksheet activity walks you through the electron structure of elements 1-20. After tackling the first few, you’ll begin to see the pattern of how electrons are arranged in their orbits. Some students abandon the manipulatives after the first few while others prefer to work through each atom methodically.
Students internalize the pattern of electron arrangement as they work through this activity. Some will also begin to see how that connects to the arrangement of the periodic table. Since this understanding is quite complex, it tends to take time and multiple activities to solidify for most students.
Note: You will have to collect objects to represent electrons—washers, flat marbles, centimeter cubes, etc. Suggestions are given in the activity.
Use this to learn and reinforce answers to questions such as:
❑ How are electrons arranged in different atoms?
❑ How can electron arrangement be diagramed using Bohr models?
❑ What do periods (or rows) in the periodic table show regarding an atom’s number of shells?
Once students walk through the activity, they can capture their observations using the included Lab Notes or probing questions included in the instructions.
♦Each element has a unique name, symbol, and number.
♦The group number in a periodic table indicates the number of outer electrons for an atom of that element.
♦Each atom is unique to a specific element.
Answer Keys and Teacher Notes
address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.
Nonconsummables: small game pieces to use as electrons, about 20 per lab group.
Collecting electron pieces and photocopying the student data sheets. Game pieces can be reused for other activities in this series.
About 40 mins.
Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting
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