Key Concepts

Atoms space made of very tiny particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.Protons and neutrons are in the center of the atom, comprising the nucleus.Electrons surround the nucleus.Protons have actually a confident charge.Electrons have actually a an adverse charge.The charge on the proton and electron are specifically the very same size however opposite.Neutrons have actually no charge.Since opposite dues attract, protons and electrons attract each other.

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Students will placed a static fee on a piece of plastic through pulling it between their fingers. Castle will check out that the plastic is attracted to their fingers. Students will be presented to the idea the rubbing the strip with their fingers led to electrons to relocate from your skin come the plastic giving the plastic a negative charge and also their skin a confident charge. Through these activities, students will be presented to several of the qualities of electrons, protons, and neutrons, which consist of atoms.


Students will be able to explain, in terms of electrons and protons, why a charged object is attracted or repelled by another charged object. They will likewise be able to describe why a charged object can even be attracted to one uncharged object. College student will also be may be to explain that the attraction between positive proton and an adverse electrons holds an atom together.


Download the student task sheet, and also distribute one every student as soon as specified in the activity. The activity sheet will serve together the “Evaluate” ingredient of every 5-E lesson plan.


Be sure you and also the students wear properly fitting goggles.

Materials for Each Group

Plastic grocery store bagScissorsInflated balloonSmall piece of paper, confetti-size

Materials for Demonstration

Sink Balloon

Do an task to display that electrons and also protons attract each other.

Students have the right to see proof of the charges of protons and electrons by act an task with static electricity.

Note: when two materials are rubbed together in a static electrical power activity, one material tends to lose electrons if the other product tends to obtain electron. In this activity, human being skin often tends to lose electrons if the plastic bag, do of polyethylene, has tendency to gain electrons.

Question to investigate

What provides objects entice or repel every other?

Materials for each group

Plastic grocery bagScissors

Procedure, part 1

Charged plastic and charged skinCut 2 strips indigenous a plastic grocery store bag so the each is around 2–4 cm vast and around 20 cm long.

Hold the plastic strip firmly at one end. Then master the plastic strip between the thumb and also fingers of your various other hand together shown.

Quickly traction your top hand increase so that the plastic piece runs with your fingers. Carry out this three or 4 times.Allow the strip to hang down. Then bring your various other hand near it. Create “attract” or “repel” in the chart on the activity sheet to define what happened.

Expected outcomes

The plastic will certainly be attracted to her hand and also move toward it. Student may notification that the plastic is additionally attracted to your arms and sleeves. Let students recognize that later on in this lesson they will certainly investigate why the plastic strip is additionally attracted to surface that have actually not to be charged (neutral).


Note: If students uncover that their plastic strip does not move toward their hand, it have to not have actually been charged well enough. Have them shot charging their plastic piece by holding it down on your pants or shirt and also then conveniently pulling it v the other hand. Climate they must test to view if the plastic is attractive to your clothes. If not, student should try charging the plastic again.


Have students investigate what happens as soon as a rubbed plastic strip is organized near a workdesk or chair.

Procedure, part 2

Charged plastic and neutral deskCharge one piece of plastic the same means you did previously.

This time, lug the plastic strip toward your desk or chair.

Write “attract” or “repel” in the chart.

Expected results

The plastic moves toward the desk.

Explain come students why the plastic is attractive to the desk. The answer take away a pair of steps, so friend can overview students by illustration or projecting a intensified illustration of the plastic and desk.

After pulling the plastic between their fingers, the plastic benefit extra electrons and a an adverse charge. The workdesk has the same number of protons as electrons and is neutral. When the plastic gets close to the desk, the negatively charged plastic repels electrons on the surface ar of the desk. This makes the surface of the workdesk near the plastic contempt positive. The negatively charged plastic is attracted to this positive area, for this reason the plastic moves towards it.


Have students charge 2 pieces that plastic and also hold them near each other to check out if electrons repel one other.

Ask college student to do a prediction:

What perform you think will take place if girlfriend charge 2 strips of plastic and also bring them near each other?

Procedure, part 3

2 piece of charged plasticCharge two strips of plasticSlowly carry the two strips the plastic near each other. Write “attract” or “repel” in the chart on the activity sheet.

Expected results

The strips will relocate away or repel each other. Because both strips have actually extra electron on them, lock each have extra an unfavorable charge. Because the exact same charges loss one another, the strips move away from every other.

Ask students:

What occurred when you carried the 2 pieces that plastic close to each other?The end of the strips relocated away from each other.Use what you know about electrons and charges to define why this happens.Each strip has extra electron so they room both negative charged. Due to the fact that like charges repel, the pieces of plastic repelled each other.Explore

Have students apply their knowledge of protons and electrons to describe what happens when a fee balloon is brought near piece of paper.

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Materials for each group

Inflated balloonSmall piece of paper, confetti-size


Rub a balloon on your hair or clothes. Extra Extend

Demonstrate exactly how electrons can lure a stream of water.

Either execute the following demonstration or show the video clip Balloon and Water.

Materials because that the demonstration



Rub a balloon on her shirt or trousers to offer it a revolution charge. Rotate on the faucet so that there is a very thin present of water. Slowly lug the charged component of the balloon close come the present of water.

Expected results

The present of water have to bend together it is attractive to the balloon.

Ask students:

What did you observe when the fee balloon was held near the currently of water?The currently of water bent towards the balloon. Use what girlfriend know about electrons, protons, and also charges to define why this happens.When you obstacle the balloon on your hair or garments it picks up extra electrons, providing the balloon a an adverse charge. Once you lug the balloon close to the stream of water, the electrons from the balloon repel the electron in the water. Since much more protons are at the surface ar of the water, it has a confident change. Opposites attract, for this reason the water moves toward the balloon.