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Molecule model free play

Students are given molecule model parts and encouraged to build up their own molecules. They can find out the function of what they have built.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Chemistry: Atoms, Molecules (3-7)
Lessons activity is in: 
  • molecule model pieces. I limit to black carbons, red oxygens and white hydrogens, along with grey bonds made by Molymod
  • sheet of molecule functions (see attachment), or the internet

Allow students to play with the molecule models.
I encourage them to fill all the holes on the molecules, so that they are more likely to make something that can be given a name and a function.

Students are (maybe surprisingly) engaged using these molecule models.

A superb book discussing the function and uses of simple molecules, building into complex: Molecules by P.W. Atkins, published by Scientific American Library

Grades taught: 
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 7
Teaching site: 
Eton Arrowsmith Camp
ingridscience afterschool