Our 13 year old is studying atoms. As a multi-sensory learner, we try and come up with activities that engage her, interest her, and of course, teach her. Both girls learnt their periodic table with to this fantastic song;
and the words if you need them
Today we were looking at protons, electrons and neutrons and understanding how many of each an element has. We decided to make “Atom Cookies”. We used a basic cookie recipe (Basic Cookie Recipe) and used M&M’s. Initially, we had the electrons as the blue M&M’s, protons as the red M&M’s and neutrons as the green M&M’s. After trying a few scenarios, like Oxygen, we decided that our cookies were a bit overloaded. It was still a good learning exercise to find the element and to work out the neutrons, electrons and protons. We decided to change to a nucleus (big red M&M to demonstrate it being “positive”) and then little blue M&M’s as the electrons. Our girls are taught to place electrons around the nucleus in pairs.
My daughter picked an element, placed the nucleus in the middle of the cookie then worked out how many electrons it would have. She then placed them in the correct place on the cookie.