- Molecular Model Kits – 1 kit per group of 4 students
- Student Handout – updated for 2015 (pdf)
- Formula cards (pdf) – print, cut apart, laminate
- 1 set per group of 4 students
- colored pencils
- periodic table
For this activity, students will practice reading formulas, counting atoms, building molecules, and identifying bond types. This activity can be used in several different ways.
Different stations can be set up around the classroom with 2-4 formulas per stations. Each station will have enough supplies to create the models indicated. Students will complete one station at a time, have their work spot checked for completion, and then proceed to an open station. Making duplicate stations helps prevent bottle necking at the stations that take longer to complete.
You can either do timed rotations or have students move freely when they are done. Some stations will be more difficult than others and extra time will be needed for students to complete those models. I like to have several “Make your Own” stations around the room to facilitate movement and give the students more time to explore model making.
Instead of stations, each lab group will have a complete set of formula cards and a molecular model kit. 4 students will share the materials and students can work with a partner or individually. The models can be completed in any order, this helps free up the materials so that not all students are waiting to use the Carbon or Sodium atoms.
If there are students who finish early, they can check their answers by matching the model images with the formulas using the answer cards (see below). Or they can create games with a partner using the cards.
Samples of Formula Cards and Answers
Free Task Card Templates provided by: Rebecca Bishop at TPT (link) ~ thank you!
- Some of the molecules have both Ionic and Covalent bonds and are indicated on the cards
- One molecule has a double bond – CO2
- One molecule has a triple bond – N2
- Metals are: Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium
- Non-Metals are: Hydrogen, Chlorine, Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen
Be sure to see my Chemistry page (link) for more lessons related to atoms and bonding.