Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Atoms Family

Right now, we're studying atoms in science. They pretty much can be as scary as the Addams Family to me a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds! Chemistry was never my favorite subject and here I am, teaching it to a bunch of fifth graders.  Good thing my co-worker is the older version of Bill Nye!  He keeps me and my other coworker straight when it comes to this stuff.  I'm so glad we don't have to teach this in depth!  Did I mention that this isn't my favorite unit??  Anyway, despite my lack of deep understanding into the tiny world of atoms, we have been doing some pretty fun activities to help me the kids understand these beyond microscopic little critters.  Here are some of the things we've done to help: (Disclaimer-I'm not as dumb as this post makes me sound!)  LOL

Number 1:  The Atoms Family Song--No idea who wrote it (if anyone knows, please share that info with me)  It's catchy, I tell ya!

The Atoms Family Song

They're tiny and they're teeny,
Much smaller than a beany,
They never can be seeny,
The Atoms Family

CHORUS:
They are so small (snap, snap)
They're round like a ball (snap, snap)
They make up the air.
They're everywhere.
Can't see them at all.

Together they make gases,
And liquids like molasses,
And all the solid masses,
The Atoms Family

CHORUS


Neutrons hang around,
Where protons can be found;
Electrons circle round

The Atoms Family

CHORUS
 
Second:  We built atoms out of paper plates, mini M&Ms, and Captain Crunch's Oops!  All Berries. They looked at a periodic table and chose an atom they wanted to represent with the materials in front of them.  They had to work out the color combinations too!  There were only two colors of mini M&Ms at WalMart, so they had to use their thinking caps and work it out amongst their teammates.  Afterwards, we did a fair share lesson with the leftovers and ate those protons, neutrons, and electrons right up!  BTW, this model is NOT TO SCALE, but gives them the idea.  The important thing is that they know the protons and neutrons are in the middle, creating the nucleus (with the same number) and the electrons move around the outside (same number).  Just something fun to do!


Third:  We made a human atom.  I printed of 10 of each:  P, N, and E and photocopied them onto different colored paper.  Here is our human nitron atom: (notice the electrons are running around the outside in wild abandon).  They had a blast! 

16 comments:

  1. Love your human atom! I see my class doing that on Friday!

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  2. Love all of this! I always hate teaching about atoms because they are so abstract to the students. These ideas really help. Thanks for sharing! Lattes and Laughter

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  3. Love both of the atom models you made - the paper plate with m&ms and cereal, and the human one. What great engaging activities.

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  4. LOVE these ideas! I will definitely be doing these when I get to atoms. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

    4everateacher.blogspot.com

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  5. Cannot wait to use these awesome ideas!

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  6. Cannot wait to use these awesome ideas!

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  7. Hi Mimi!! I am your newest follower.. so glad I found your blog, I am a 4th grade teacher :) I love the Atom's Family song, I was cracking up singing it! Hope you can check out my blog sometime!

    Laura http://lovetoteach123.blogspot.com

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  8. I love reading your blog and finding new ideas about teaching. Love the model of the atoms with the paper plates. Did a version of this last year where students made playdough balls and then could make a variety of different models as instructed.

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  9. Oh I love this!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Misty
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

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  10. Wow! Great activities! Almost makes me wish I taught 5th grade....okay, not really. :) Just found your adorable blog - love it!

    Amanda
    Teaching Maddeness

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  11. I love the Atoms Family Song! A fellow teacher shared this with me last year and the kids really liked it. It definitely helps students understand some atomic basics! Even my 6th graders (who can sometimes be "too cool" for classroom songs) were more than willing to go along. Here is the link that I have for the file. http://sciencespot.net/Media/atomsfam.pdf Check it out for some addition information and a worksheet to go along with the song. Happy Teaching :)

    Kate Wright

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  12. Sounds like so much fun! Science is so easy to make exciting! Found you through the VA Teacher Bloggers FB page!

    Andrea
    Reading Toward the Stars

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  13. Fabulous ideas! I used to dread this unit....not anymore. The song is already stuck in my head! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. This is so cute and fun! Great ideas! I am your newest follower and look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Andrea

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  15. Did you have a worksheet that goes with this?

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