Atom Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

Atoms make up everything in our world. Your students will become familiar with atoms as they watch an interesting educational video on atoms, draw atoms from a molecule and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define atom and element
  • draw atoms of different elements on the periodic table
  • interpret information about atoms from the periodic table


1.5-2 hours

Curriculum Standards

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

Substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways. Atoms form molecules that range in size from two to thousands of atoms.


  • Copies of the lesson quiz
  • Copies of the periodic table
  • Copies of examples of Bohr models
  • Index cards with the 2 names of different simple molecules on each card (enough for each pair of students)
  • Printer paper
  • Colored pencils


  • Begin the lesson by asking your students to tell you everything they know about atoms. (Allow several students to answer before moving on.)
  • Tell your students that is a great start, and they are going to learn even more about atoms as they watch What is An Atom? - Definition & Examples
  • Play the video for your students and pause it for the first time at 0:49. Now, ask and discuss:
    • What is an atom?
    • What are some examples of things made up of atoms?
  • Continue playing the video and pause it once again at 2:45 to ask and discuss:
    • What are the three parts that make up an atom?
    • What is the nucleus of an atom?
    • What is a proton?
    • Where in the atom are protons located?
    • What other particle is located in the same place?
    • What is a neutron?
    • What is an electron?
    • What do we call all the different types of atoms?
  • Continue playing the video and pause it one last time at 3:44 to ask and discuss the following:
    • What is an elementary particle?
    • What are quarks?
    • Which particles are composed of quarks?
  • Play the remainder of the video for your students and answer any questions they have at this point.
  • Give your students the lesson quiz to take individually.
  • Go over the answers to the quiz together as a class.

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