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This lesson provided by:
Author:Michelle Stough
System: Elmore County
School: Wetumpka High School
Lesson Plan ID: 24039

Emission Spectrum


We will reintroduce the students to the electromagnetic spectrum and visible light. We will talk about the states of electrons(ground and excited). The teacher will show a video link (Electrons in Atoms). We will then preform the science in motion lab "Excited Elements."
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

Content Standard(s):
SC(9-12) Physical Science1. Recognize periodic trends of elements, including the number of valence electrons, atomic size, and reactivity.
SC(9-12) Physical Science9. Compare methods of energy transfer by mechanical and electromagnetic waves.
SC(9-12) Chemistry3. Use the periodic table to identify periodic trends, including atomic radii, ionization energy, electronegativity, and energy levels.
Local/National Standards:

NS 9-12.2 As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of: Structure of atoms, Structure and properties of matter, Chemical reactions, Motions and forces, Conservation of energy and increase in disorder, and Interactions of energy and matter. National science standards from The National Academies of Science.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The student will be able to define the photoelectric effect and the line-emission spectrum.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Complete the science in motion lab “Excited Elements”

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 91 to 120 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

I obtain this equipment from Science in Motion. High voltage power supplies Diffraction grating glasses Spectroscopes 40-watt incandescent bulb/socket Thermal mitt Fluorescent bulb/socket Colored Pencils (ROY G. BIV) Label Cards for each spectral tube Spectral tubes: Helium Neon Oxygen Mercury Nitrogen Hydrogen Unknown Safety Considerations: • DO NOT TOUCH the spectrum-tube power supply or spectrum tubes when power is applied. Several thousand volts exist at the power supply and spectrum tubes.

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with internet access, presentation software, projector, spectral tubes.


The students need to be familiar with the parts of the atom, electrons, visible spectrum, and the electromagnetic spectrum. The student must understand lab safety and proper procedures. Teacher will need to set up lab. Safety Considerations: • DO NOT TOUCH the spectrum-tube power supply or spectrum tubes when power is applied. Several thousand volts exist at the power supply and spectrum tubes.

1.)Remind the student of the electromagnetic spectrum and the component of visible light. Explain to the students ground state vs. Excited state. Help them to understand how elements give off specific colors of light when they go from the excited state back to the ground state. To help with this show the attached links: Electrons in the Atom. I would also have the students complete the note taking sheet(attached) as they watch the video.
(Electrons in the Atom)

2.)Perform the lab “Excited Elements”

3.)Obtain a spectroscope and look through it at an incandescent light bulb. The spectrum should appear when the slit in the spectroscope is pointed just off center of the glowing filament. Practice moving the spectroscope until you sees a bright, clear image.

4.)Darken the room but leave enough background lighting to illuminate the spectroscope scales. Point the spectroscope away from any exposed window, since daylight will affect the observed gas spectrum.

5.)Helium or hydrogen is a good first choice among the spectral tubes set up around the room. Adjust the spectroscope until the brightest image is oriented on your scale. Record in Table 1 the five brightest lines of the observed spectrum. Some of the spectrum tubes produce light so dim that you must be very close to them to get good observations of the spectral lines.

6.)Repeat for each of the other spectrum tubes.

7.)After lab is complete have each student write a lab report to be turn in and graded by the attached rubric.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. excited elements.ppt
Excited Elements (Scale 7-4).rtf
Excited Elements TN.rtf
electrons emission spectra plan 5.doc
Excited Elements (Scale 4-7).rtf
electronAtoms note taking Wkst.pdf
Assessment Strategies:

Have each lab group to answer the lab question on the attached student handout. Also have each group to complete the data tables. Each individual student will turn in a written lab report to be graded by attached rubric.


You may require that the more advanced students research the following questions: Describe the uses of a spectroscope in the science of astronomy. How can spectra be used in chemical analyses?


Students that need remediation will be paired with students who are able to work more independently. These groups should be monitored more closely. Peer tutor would be assigned to the student to provide additional assistance during lab.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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