In this lesson students learn about how unstable elements will decay based on half-lives through performing notes, practice questions, and a Marie Curie activity.
To begin this lesson I review the idea of unstable nuclei and then teach students about how atoms decay based on their half-lives. I do this by presenting the unit10 lecture 2 PowerPoint as students take notes on their unit10 lecture 2 student notes graphic organizer.
For the next section of the lesson I have students do example problems 2-5 related to half-lives.
These problems include several types of examples including:
The way I do this is show the example problem and have students start to try on their own. After a minute or two I start to do the problem on the board for those students who are stuck. I make sure to help them with setting up a table, filling in the information that they have and use that to find what they want.
This is a copy of one student's notes with the answers to the problems.
After students have gotten a general idea about half-lives I have them read about Marie Curie and do an activity related to half-lives.
For this section of the lesson students are working on their homework. This homework is a review of what they have learned in both this lesson and in the previous lesson, Types of Nuclear Decay.
Students get a copy of the unit10 homework as they are complete the Marie Curie activity.
Most students do not complete the paper in class so they take home and complete for homework. I then review the answers with students in the next class using the answer key.
The biggest struggle that students have with this paper are question #3 with changes in atomic number and mass number (I remind them to look at the numbers at the top and bottom of the symbol) and questions #6 with half-llives. I go over how to answer the half-life questions with students on the board. These are videos showing me explaining the answers to the questions for example b and example c.