Activities to Teach Students to Identify Elementary Substances and Compounds Using Models

As a science teacher, one of your responsibilities is to teach your students to identify elementary substances and compounds. This is no easy task, as it requires a deep understanding of chemical properties and elements. However, thanks to the benefit of technology and teaching aids like models, there are several activities you can use to enhance learning and create a fun and engaging learning experience for your students.

Here are some activities to teach students to identify elementary substances and compounds using models:

1. Building models of chemical formulas

To teach your students the basic difference between a substance and a compound, the best place to start is by building models of chemical formulas. Use modeling kits to demonstrate the difference between the formula for an element, such as hydrogen or oxygen, and that of a compound, such as water or carbon dioxide. The students would need to learn to differentiate between these. You can also introduce them to the idea of a symbol for an element as well as a formula for a compound.

2. Connect the dots

Another fun and engaging activity to help students identify elementary substances and compounds is to create a “Connect the Dots” activity sheet with several elements, compounds, and molecules to choose from. Give each student a sheet and have them connect the dots to create the molecular structure of each of the elements or compounds. This is a great way to help students get more creative as they will have limited resources and creativity is key.

3. Identifying Properties

Once students have a basic understanding of chemical formulas, it is important to introduce them to the concept of identifying properties of different compounds. Students can use these properties to identify and differentiate the different molecules. Through hands-on activities like investigations and experiments, learners can categorize and determine the properties of different groups of molecule students can identify which properties are related to each group.

4. Make a vocabulary sheet

It is crucial to make sure students have a firm grip on relevant skills and language. One activity to aid this is to create a vocabulary sheet. Students can use this sheet to collect newly learned vocabulary and swiftly revise the previous vocabulary. This can come in handy during tests and exams.

5. Visual review

Finally, visuals are a great way to reinforce concepts and solidify understanding. You can create a visual review of how different compositions work and what they form when they join. It can be a diagram, a battery, or a chart. Whatever form you choose, having a visual tool can help students to retain the learned knowledge.


These activities are just a few ways to teach students to identify elementary substances and compounds using models. It is important to ensure that the learning process is hands-on, to help students to engage and internalize. By making use of various aids and materials, learners can develop an intuitive grasp of the concepts and eventually master the subject.

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