Chemistry Unit: The Size of Atoms

We started our chemistry unit a couple weeks ago.  We’re doing lots of reading and really enjoying the books in the NOEO curriculum.

P1210617ShrewWe loved, What’s Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?  (affiliate link)  It takes a look at protozoa, bacterium, molecules and atoms — even talking about electrons, protons and neutrons. After we read through the book the kids drew pictures of protozoa. (LD’s picture is on the left, DD’s is on the right)

P1210581protozoa

And on another day (after reading selections of the book again) drew water molecules.

P1210616water-molecule

We then turned to Real Science-4-Kids Chemistry pre-Level I (affiliate link)  and read a number of chapters from pre-level 1. LD (age 9) complains that it is too easy for him and he’s anxious to jump into level 1. I love the cute drawings. This book explains chemistry in a way DD can really understand!

P1210619Chemistry

We did an activity that explains how truly small atoms are.  We took a strip of paper and cut it in half. We compared it to our hand. Then the next piece we determined was about the length of our ear or finger. Then we cut that in half. We continued cutting each strip in half (and laying one piece down) again and again until we could cut no farther.  We got up to about 9 cuts before the paper was too small.

AtomsWe looked at a chart that shows how many cuts it would get to be

  • in the microscopic range (12 cuts)
  • the width of paper (14 cuts)
  • the size of bacteria (18 cuts)
  • the size of visible light waves (19 cuts)
  • electron microscope range/membranes (24 cuts)
  • the size of an atom (31 cuts)

After that the kids spent lots of time exploring an amazing website called The Size of the Universe. You can scroll in to go smaller and smaller (even smaller than atoms, electrons, and quarks) all the way out to the planets, solar system and universe.  You can click on each item and there’s an explanation of what it is.  And there’s a feature where you can mute the music (in the right hand corner) if you spend more than 10 minutes on it!

Size-of-the-Universe-Website-Screenshots

For more great chemistry ideas, be sure to visit the Molecularium Teacher’s Guide (K-4) and Molecules to the Max (Grades 5-8) Educator’s Resource Guide.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

You may be interested in these related chemistry posts:

You might also be interested in these posts from our chemistry unit:

ChemistryReviewPictures

BuildingMolecules

 

Bohr-Diagram-Practice-Sheets

 

You may be interested in how we covered this topic when we came back around to it (as the kids got older):

Interesting Links: The website has a really neat table of elements for kids –http://elements.wlonk.com/ Then there is a table of elements according to relevant abundance here — http://www.meta-synthesis.com/webbook/35_pt/pt_database.php?PT_id=321 We also have some free chemistry printables and some of our chemistry activities here at this post –

See you again soon here or Homeschool Den Facebook page. Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! ~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

Please like & share:

You may also like...

12 Responses

  1. January 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  2. January 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  3. January 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  4. January 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  5. January 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  6. January 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  7. January 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  8. January 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  9. January 6, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  10. January 6, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  11. October 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

  12. October 5, 2014

    […] The Size of Atoms […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>