Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Atom and Eve

Rebecca Renfro


The students will use a concept map to define and share their information about the Hydrogen atom. They will construct a model of a Hydrogen atom using simple, low-cost materials.


The student knows the general properties of the atom (a massive nucleus of neutral neutrons and positive protons surrounded by a cloud of negative electrons) and accepts that single atoms are not visible.


-Butcher paper
-Construction paper
-Marking pens
-Student journal (provided by the student)

-Cotton balls
-Colored pipe cleaners
-Plastic boxes to use as lab boxes


1. Prepare an overhead transparency or write on your board an example of the CRISS word definition.
2. If you do not have a roll of butcher paper in your room then precut 2' x 4' pieces of paper (one piece for every four students). If you have a roll of butcher paper in your classroom have the students cut their own pieces of paper.
3. Put your materials (scissors, construction paper, glue, buttons, cotton balls, marking pens, glitter, etc) in your lab boxes. Have eight plastic boxes with lids that are numbered 1-8. Place all lab materials and supplies in numbered boxes. Put on the table at the front of room. Students then are asked to get their own materials from the table and then at the end of the activity are asked to return their materials to the table.
4. Have a variety of resources available in the classroom for students to use for references.


1. (5 minutes) Warm up: Atom and Eve were made from??????? Atoms.
A. Start with a discussion about atoms. Atoms make up all matter including human beings, bacteria, and stars. Also, include the fact that atoms are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye.
B. Objective: To introduce the concept of an atom and its charged and neutral subatomic particles.

2. (1 minute) Review the concept map process for a word definition. (See attached associated file.)

3. (5 minutes) Have students define an atom using a concept map. This is a cooperative activity.
A. Have students work in groups of four. Each group will write their definition/concept map on a large piece of butcher paper.
B. Resources for investigation will be any that you have available in your classroom, i.e. textbooks, dictionary, computer, encyclopedia, etc.

4. (8 minutes) Have each group share their definition with the class.

5. (20 minutes) Have each student make a model of an atom.
A. Set the scene by pointing out the materials that they may use to construct their models, such as construction paper, scissors, glue, etc.
B. Tell them that the model can be made any way they choose, and they may share ideas.
C. Tell them the model should include the labels: Hydrogen atom, proton, neutron, and electron.
D. Tell them the model should include the appropriate charges on the subatomic particles.

6. Have students reflect in their journals what they now know about an atom.

7. Follow up the next day. Have students show their work to the class and share their journal reflections.

8. Assess the activity.


Evidence that students are successful:
1. A concept map of the Hydrogen atom with an oral presentation.
2. A model of the hydrogen atom with the subatomic particles labeled: proton, neutron, and electron.
3. On the above model a + by the proton and a - by the electron and no charge indicated by the nucleus.

Criteria for successful understanding of the concept is demonstrated if the student can do the following:
1. Define an atom.
2. Draw a Hydrogen atom with its subatomic particles.
3. Indicate the charge on the subatomic particles of a Hydrogen atom.

Attached Files

A Concept Map Template for a Hydrogen Atom.     File Extension: pdf

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