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This lesson provided by:
Author: Antwuan Stinson
School:Alabama State University
Lesson Plan ID: 33197

The Relationship between Atomic Number, Atomic Radius, and Ionization Energy 


Students will determine the relationship between atomic number and atomic size to see whether there is a definite pattern.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

Content Standard(s):
SC(9-12) Chemistry3. Use the periodic table to identify periodic trends, including atomic radii, ionization energy, electronegativity, and energy levels.
ELA2013(9) 10. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RI.9-10.1]
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will learn the relationship between atomic number and atomic size according to the attached numbers listed in the table. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will observe the trends that exists between groups and periods in the periodic table [here].

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 61 to 90 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Graph paper



Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with internet access

Printer for graph paper

Microsoft Excel


Teachers and students should have access to the periodic table which lists Atomic Number and Atomic Radius.  Click [here].  Graphs should resemble this item [here].



  1. Using Excel, construct and print a computer graph with atomic number on the x-axis and atomic radius on the y-axis. Choose connecting lines. Be sure to label the axes and title the graph.
  2. Place the symbols by the data points on your graph to indicate the element corresponding to that atomic number.
  3. Divide the graph into sections using a colored pencil or pen by drawing a vertical line through the atomic number of each of the noble gases.
  4. On the back of your graph answer the following questions.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. TheRelationshipBetweenAtomicNumberandtheRadiusofAtoms.doc
Assessment Strategies:



    1. List the symbols and atomic numbers of the elements with the highest ionization energy within each section of your graph. 
    2. List the symbols and atomic number of the elements with the lowest ionization energy within each section of the graph.
    3. List the symbols and atomic number of the elements with the next to the highest ionization energy within each section. 
    4. Using the periodic table, what patterns are evident in your lists. 
  2. TRENDS 

    1. What overall pattern is evident with each section of the graph?
    2. How can this pattern be explained in terms of electron configuration and the filling of the s, p, and d orbitals.
  3. FAMILIES – Locate the elements in the first family (alkali metals) and the eighteenth family (noble gases).

    1. What is the trend in ionization energy as atomic number increases within each family.
    2. Explain in terms of electron configuration and electron removal from the atom.

Use the website [here] to build background of the content


Repeat the Excel demonstration during the lecture for guided practice.  Have partners work together when working with Excel [here]

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

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
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