Good news is, I navigated through all the rough spots and pulled from my good 'ol science background just so I could share what I compiled and taught with other teaching mamas who would be so bold as to brave such a subject with the littles.
Even more good news: the kids loved it! The Activities we did along with this lesson are in a separate post to cut down on length.
Over the next 6 weeks, every Thursday, I'll be posting my lesson plan for the week, along with links I referenced along with other sources to give credit where credit is due- and I ask that you please do the same if you use these. Be sure to check back in for more Chem fun!
Lesson 1/Week 1: Introduction to Chemistry
What they did: In 1858 August Kekulé (1829–1896) and Archibald Scott Couper (1831–1892), two young men from different backgrounds, independently recognized that carbon atoms can link directly to one another to form carbon chains. They both had daydreams that Carbon atoms did some sort of happy dance together, holding "hands". This meant that other elements could follow the same rule.
What is Matter?
- Everything is made up of matter except energy, 6 types (light, heat, sound- for now; nuclear, electrical & mechanical- for later, advanced class).
- Matter has mass, mass has weight when gravity pulls down on it. To demonstrate, hold up a heavy, dense ball & a lightweight ball of the same size for comparison and let the kids hold them as well to conceptualize that there are so many little parts, or atoms, in the denser ball that gravity has more to pull down on.
- States of matter are Solid, Liquid, Gas and Plasma.
- Almost everything (matter) is made up of atoms and when atoms join together they become molecules (different) or elements (same).
- A lot of one type of atom gives us elements (ex. copper, aluminum, carbon)
- Atoms are made up of Protons, Electrons & Neutrons, (have kids repeat the words back) Introduce the Periodic Table just so they perhaps will recognize it when they see it again. Discuss: It's like a map through the elements
- Atoms are made up of smaller parts called protons, neutrons in the center and elections that orbit the center just like the earth orbits the sun.
- Show them common things they'll encounter such as O-we breathe it, He-makes balloons float, is lighter than air, Al- Foil, Fe- Ferris Wheel building material, Cu-a penny or some electrical wire, Ti-Titanium shears, blades only, so they know the little letters and squares have meaning and make sense. I brought in Titanium shears, a penny, and a piece of aluminum foil in a Ziploc bag as a visual. Explain that ONLY Al is in the foil, nothing else (for all intents and purposes), Ti in the blades of the fabric shears, and Cu in the penny.
- Draw helium atom on white board (below) and show how it correlates to the periodic table. (2e, 2p, 2n) explain that the nucleus is at the center and it's very heavy. Explain that a bunch of these Helium atoms are what make balloons float and stay up, and even though we can't see it, we know it's there because they float. Can even mention that Protons are positive and are the opposite of Electrons (ex. hot/cold, dark/light, positive/negative), which are negative and neutrons stay out of it, are neutral. P's and E's balance each other out so the atom is happy.
- Explain: It's hard for scientists to see or take pictures of atoms because they are so small but they have made models to show what they look like so the rest of us can "see" them.
|Image source: http://www.tpub.com/neets/book7/0004.GIF|
In a nutshell: Protons + Neutrons + Electrons(make up)-->Atoms(make up)-->Molecules (different atoms bonded together) and Elements (same atoms bonded together)
Lesson 1/Week 1- Introduction to Chemistry Links