Valence Electron Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

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

Each element in our world has its own unique electron configuration and number of valence of electrons. Your students will gain a solid understanding of valence electrons as they watch a video, create electron configuration books, and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Define valence electrons
  • Identify the number of valence electrons in various chemicals
  • Draw electron configurations


1.5 - 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.


Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.


  • Copies of the periodic table
  • Copies of the lesson quiz
  • Printer paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Computer with projector
  • Scissors


  • Start the lesson by telling your students that they are going to learn more about the electrons in atoms, particularly the valence electrons as they watch Valence Electrons: Definition, Configuration & Example.
  • Play the video for your students and pause it periodically for discussions.
  • Pause the video the first time at 2:46, then ask and discuss the following:
    • What are valence electrons?
    • How many electrons can shell 1 hold?
    • Which orbitals exist in shell 1?
    • How many electrons can shell 2 hold?
    • Which orbitals exist in shell 2?
    • How many electrons can shell 3 hold?
    • Which orbitals exist in shell 3?
  • Continue playing the video, pausing it again at 5:36 to ask and discuss following:
    • What is an electron configuration?
    • What is spdf notation?
    • What tells you the number of electrons in an atom?
  • Continue playing the video through 8:01, then pause it to ask and discuss:
    • What is noble gas configuration?
    • What is a noble gas?
    • How do you determine how many electrons to write in the configuration when using noble gas configuration?
  • Play the rest of the video for your students and answer any questions.

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