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.
My 6th graders did a really nice job and had a lot of fun creating their Scientist Instagrams. Each student picked a field of science that they were interested in and imagined themselves in those roles. The students also enjoyed seeing each other’s drawings and tapped on the bulletin board to like the images 🙂
Each year, as part of my “Becoming a Scientist” Unit, I ask the students to envision themselves in their favorite field of science. What would they like to do? Where would they be located? What tools would they use? What would they wear? What would they be working on?
I thought it would be fun to have their drawings be Instagram snapshots depicting themselves as scientists in their field of choice. One other option is they can draw scientist selfies using a cell phone template (free downloads @ link)