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Learning Resource Type

Classroom Resource

Atoms Can Be Rearranged to Make Different Molecules

Subject Area





In this lesson, students will be able to explain that snap cubes or other objects can be used as models of atoms. Students will also be able to explain that atoms can be rearranged to make different molecules. 

Students see an animation showing that the things around them are made of atoms and molecules. Students are given white, red, blue, and black cubes that represent hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon atoms. Students are guided to take atoms apart, rearrange them, and put them together again in different ways to make six different molecules. Students also see a fun molecule-making game that they can try.

    Science (2015) Grade(s): 2


    Demonstrate and explain how structures made from small pieces (e.g., linking cubes, blocks, building bricks, creative construction toys) can be disassembled and then rearranged to make new and different structures.

    Unpacked Content



    • Demonstrate
    • Explain
    • Structure
    • Pieces
    • Disassemble
    • Rearrange
    • Different


    Students know:
    • Different properties are suited for different purposes.
    • A great variety of objects can be built up from a small set of pieces.
    • Structures can be disassembled and rearranged into new and different structures.


    Students are able to:
    • Disassemble a structure into small pieces.
    • Assemble a new structure using the same small pieces.
    • Provide a written and/or oral explanation that correlates with a demonstration detailing the characteristics of the new object or objects.


    Students understand that:
    • Structures may be broken into smaller pieces and a new structure, that is different in size or shape, can be formed from the same pieces.

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Energy and Matter
    Link to Resource

    CR Resource Type

    Lesson/Unit Plan

    Resource Provider

    American Chemical Society

    License Type