MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Tic Tac Toe - Pick 3 in a Row Atomic Model Assignment

Tic Tac Toe - Pick 3 in a Row Atomic Model Assignment

Janet Rohlf Larson
Dakota Hills Middle School
Eagan, MN 55068
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This activity is a practice and assessment exercise that allows for differentiation and student choice. Students have been introduced to a historic timeline of the development of the atomic model and have learned about the atom as proposed by Bohr. The tic-tac-toe format requires all students to practice and perform to demonstrate their understanding by completing two assignments of choice plus one required assignment. Assignments are chosen based on ability and learning style.

Learning Goals

Students will understand that the atom is composed of smaller parts and their composition determines where they are located on the periodic table.
Students will perform independent research to complete tasks.
Students will be able to recognize an element by its mass, and/or atomic number.
Students will be able to draw a picture of an atom with the correct number and placement of protons, neutrons and electrons for elements 1 – 18.
Vocab = valence electrons, orbitals, nucleus, protons, neutrons, atomic mass, atomic number

Context for Use

This activity can be a culminating activity/project to assess students comprehension of Bohr's atomic model. Students are given this assignment after learning about the atomic model through lecture, note taking and packet practice. Students have practiced drawing models of atoms with individual white boards and are familiar with elements 1 – 18 on the periodic table. Other options could be created for this tic tac toe choice assignment based on available resources. Internet use is optimal for research as there are many periodic table websites. Books could also be used for research as well.

Subject: Chemistry:General Chemistry:Atomic Structure,
Resource Type: ActivitiesClassroom Activity
Grade Level: Middle (6-8)

Description and Teaching Materials

This project includes one required portion in which students listen to a lecture, take notes and complete a packet to help them understand the components of the atom. The tic tac toe assignment sheet is handed out to students following successful completion of the packet. (this assignment is included in the tic tac toe assignment sheet as the center square) Students are told that they need to complete three assignments on the tic tac toe board but have already completed the middle square. The following assignments should create a tic tac toe and only two more assignments would be required if their tic tac toe goes through the middle box. Assignments vary in complexity and require different learning styles. Students are encouraged to complete assignments that are academically challenging to them.
Tic Tac Toe assignment sheet (Microsoft Word 54kB Aug2 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This assignment can be started as an in class activity. I usually allow them one blocked class period to begin this assignment. Ideally, the Internet should be available to students so that they can begin their research. Any additional work on this project would become homework. Collecting and grading this assignment can be overwhelming because each student turns in a different collection of work. I usually give the students some work time for part of a class and collect work individually grading some assignments on the spot so that I don't have so much work to keep track.


See teaching notes and tips


2009 Draft version of MN Academic Standards – Matter is made up of atoms

References and Resources