Unit 1: Atoms, Atom Theory, & Periodic Table of Elements (August 15-September 22)



TeacherJulia Rosso
Subject AreaScience
Grade Level8
Week #Weeks 1-6 (August 15-September 22)
Unit of InstructionAtomic Theory and The Periodic Table
Standard(s) Taught


  • SC.8.P.8.7 (Level 1) – Explore the scientific theory of atoms (also known as atomic theory) by recognizing that atoms are the smallest unit of an element and are composed of sub-atomic particles (electrons surrounding a nucleus containing protons and neutrons).
  • SC.7.N.3.2 (Level 2) – Identify the benefits and limitations of the use of scientific models.
  • SC.8.N.3.2 (Level 3) – Explain why theories may be modified but are rarely discarded.
  • SC.8.E.5.10 (Level 3) – Assess how technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information


  • Advanced: SC.912.P.8.4 – Explore the scientific theory of atoms (also known as atomic theory) by describing the structure of atoms in terms of protons, neutrons and electrons, and differentiate among these particles in terms of their mass, electrical charges and locations within the atom.
  • SC.8.P.8.6 (Level 1) – Recognize that elements are grouped in the periodic table according to similarities of their properties.
  • SC.6.N.2.2 (Level 2) – Explain that scientific knowledge is durable because it is open to change as new evidence or interpretations are encountered.
  • Advanced: SC.912.P.8.5 – Relate properties of atoms and their position in the periodic table to the arrangement of their electrons.
Learning Targets and Learning Criteria
  • I am learning theories may be modified based on new evidence but are rarely discarded (in the context of atomic theory).
  • I am learning to recognize that atoms are the smallest unit of an element and are composed of subatomic particles:
    •  Electrons (negative)-smallest subatomic particle, located outside of nucleus, does not figure into atomic mass, balances the negative charge with positive protons to make a neutral, stable atom
    •  Neutrons (neutral)-located in nucleus, mass of 1 AMU
    •  Protons (positive)-Located in nucleus, mass of 1 AMU, determines the Atomic Number, balances with electrons to obtain neutral, stable atoms
  • I am learning to determine the type of subatomic particle using its location, mass, and charge.
  • I am learning to create a model or diagram of an atom that contains a nucleus, an electron cloud, and subatomic particles.
  • I am learning to discuss the benefits and limitations of various historical atomic models
  • I am learning to explain electrons, protons and neutrons are parts of the atom and the nuclei of atoms are composed of protons and neutrons, which experience forces of attraction and repulsion consistent with their charges and masses.
  • I am learning to recognize that elements are grouped in the periodic table according to similar properties

o Groups/Families- vertical columns of elements that share similar properties

o Periods-horizontal rows of elements with increasing atomic number

o Most elements on the periodic table are metals

o Metalloids are elements that have properties of metals and nonmetals

  • I am learning to use the periodic table to identify and classify elements.
  • I am learning to predict properties of an element using a periodic table when given information about other elements in the same column.
  • I am learning to use the periodic table and electron configuration to determine an element’s number of valence electrons and its chemical and physical properties
  • I am learning to explain how chemical properties depend almost entirely on the configuration of the outer electron shell
Classroom Activities

Day 1 (August 29) Intro to Unit,  Salt Crystals probe

Study Jams: Atoms: StudyJams! Science | Scholastic.com

atoms & subatomic particles Kesler modified noted w/PPT

Day 2 (August 30) atoms & subatomic particles

Bill Nye Atoms & Molecules

Subatomic Particles Foldable

Ted ED video clip:  Just how small is the atom (1333) Just How Small is an Atom? – YouTube


Day 3 (August 31 ER) atoms & subatomic particles

Atomic numbers & Atomic Mass, practice calculating for subatomic particles

Brainpop: Atoms

Cpalms tutorial #183487 The Atom part 1:  Big things come in small packages

Day 4 (September 1 & 2) atoms & subatomic particles

Chemical Binds Keeley Probe

Crash Course Chemistry part 1: the Nucleus

The Atom Cornell Doodle Notes w/PPT

Candy Atom Lab

Element Builder Gizmo Lab

Day 5 (September 6) Atomic theory

Ted ED video clip:  The 2,400 year old search for the atom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xazQRcSCRaY

Atomic Theory activity

Day 6 (September 7 ER) atomic theory

Brainpop: Atomic Model

Cpalms tutorial #183706 The History of the Atom

Day 7 (September 8 & 9) atomic theory

Crash Course Chemistry:  The History of Atomic Chemistry

Atomic theory timelines finalized

Cpalms:  History of Atomic Theory

Day 8 (September 12) periodic table of elements

Periodic People Activity

Studyjams: Periodic Table: StudyJams! Science | Scholastic.com

Day 9 (September 13) periodic table of elements

Brainpop:  Periodic Table of Elements – BrainPOP

Planet Orkadoo activity

Cplams:  Exploring the Periodic Table Part 1: Periods #173484


Day 10 (September 14 ER) periodic table of elements

Interactive Periodic Table:  Periodic Table of the Elements (pbslearningmedia.org)

Day 11 (September 15 & 16) periodic table of elements

Send home Study Guide today

Periodic Table Sciencesaurus Research

Periodic Table PPT w/notes

Cpalms:  Exploring the Periodic Table Part 2: Groups #173485

Day 12 (September 19) Review 

Gizmo Element Builder simulation lab

Day 13 (September 20) Scientific theories

Haldron Collider makes new discoveries video clip: (1333) Hadron Collider Scientists Discover Three Subatomic Particles Never Seen Before – YouTube

Cpalms tutorial 190945: Scientific Theories Can Change

Day 14 (September 21 ER)-Review for DIA

Day 15 (September 22 & 23) DIA 1 Assessment

Assignments Due

Timelines Due by 9/8 (periods 1-4) or 9/9 (periods 5-8)

District Assessment 9/22 (periods 1-4) or 9/23 (periods 5-8)

Additional Resources

Interactive Periodic Table of Elements Website:  https://ptable.com/?lang=en#Properties