Building Molecules Chemistry Activity

We moved on from talking about atoms to talking about molecules and chemical bonds. Since my kids are pretty young, this is just a basic introduction to how bonds are formed and made.

 Building Molecules Worksheet:

The screen shot below shows 2 of 3 pages.

We spent several days building different kinds of molecules:

On the first day we built water, oxygen, hydrogen and hydrogen peroxide:

The next day the kids built carbon dioxide, chlorine, ammonia and acetylene gas:

And on the last day they built methane gas, ethylene gas, methanol (wood alcohol), propane gas,  nitrous oxide (laughing gas), vinegar and others:

We used EIN-O’s molecule kit. It doesn’t have the best reviews on Amazon, but it was just fine for our needs. It comes with double-bonds (see the red oxygen molecule above) as well as the plain single bond pieces. It is a bit confusing that there would be more than one hole on the hydrogen (white balls), but I just told the kids that was how the balls were made and they were fine with that explanation.

Again, if you’re interested in building the molecules we did you can download the worksheet I made by clicking on this link–Building Molecules Worksheet.

You might also be interested in these posts from our chemistry unit:

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  1. by Discovering Montessori

    On October 12, 2012 at 6:40 am

    This is just perfect for us! I almost purchased this kit but wasn’t sure if the pieces would stay together. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. by Liesl Den

    On October 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    You can also just use styrofoam balls and pipe cleaners, but I decided to use this kit because the balls were colored already and saved time painting balls, etc. Plus styrofoam can be a bit difficult to manipulate (or falls apart) and the pipe cleaners would bend. I wanted the kids to be able to work on this independently and with the exception of one bad (malformed) plastic rod they didn’t need my help at all.

    Good to hear from you! I’ll need to catch up on your posts too… you always are doing such good stuff in your homeschool!

  3. by Valerie

    On March 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Thank you for posting your worksheet. This was perfect for my 7 year old who wanted to learn about atoms and molecules for his science fair project. We bought a slightly different set that actually showed the double bonds as separate bonds – ours was called Mega Molecules. The kit was a big hit, and helped get the concept of “how many bonds per atom” down much better than the spaghetti and toothpick versions we’d seen a the family science nights.

    Thanks again for sharing so I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel!

  4. by Liesl Den

    On March 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    You’re welcome! Glad they came in useful. I’ll have to keep that kit in mind for next time round. Our kit did the job, but we could use something a bit more sophisticated next time around.

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