Key Concepts

Atoms space made of very tiny particles referred to as protons, neutrons, and electrons.Protons and neutrons space in the center of the atom, comprising the nucleus.Electrons surround the nucleus.Protons have actually a optimistic charge.Electrons have a an unfavorable charge.The charge on the proton and electron are specifically the exact same size however opposite.Neutrons have no charge.Since opposite charges attract, protons and also electrons entice each other.

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Students will placed a static charge on a piece of plastic through pulling it between their fingers. They will view that the plastic is attractive to their fingers. Students will certainly be introduced to the idea the rubbing the strip through their fingers brought about electrons to move from your skin come the plastic giving the plastic a an unfavorable charge and their skin a confident charge. V these activities, students will certainly be presented to some of the qualities of electrons, protons, and neutrons, which make up atoms.


Students will have the ability to explain, in regards to electrons and protons, why a charged object is attracted or repelled by an additional charged object. Castle will additionally be maybe to explain why a charged thing can also be attractive to an uncharged object. Student will also be able to explain that the attraction between positive proton and an unfavorable electrons hold an atom together.


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


Be certain you and the student wear effectively fitting goggles.

Materials for Each Group

Plastic grocery bagScissorsInflated balloonSmall piece of paper, confetti-size

Materials for Demonstration

Sink Balloon

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

Students can see evidence of the fees of protons and electrons by law an task with static electricity.

Note: once two products are rubbed with each other in a static electricity activity, one product tends to shed electrons when the other product tends to get electron. In this activity, person skin tends to lose electrons while the plastic bag, make of polyethylene, often tends to get electrons.

Question come investigate

What provides objects entice or repel every other?

Materials for each group

Plastic grocery bagScissors

Procedure, part 1

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

Hold the plastic piece firmly at one end. Then grasp the plastic strip in between the thumb and also fingers the your various other hand as shown.

Quickly pull your height hand up so that the plastic strip runs v your fingers. Carry out this 3 or 4 times.Allow the piece to cave down. Then carry your other hand close to it. Create “attract” or “repel” in the graph on the task sheet to describe what happened.

Expected outcomes

The plastic will certainly be attractive to her hand and also move toward it. Students may notification that the plastic is likewise attracted to your arms and sleeves. Allow students recognize that later in this great they will certainly investigate why the plastic piece is likewise attracted to surfaces that have not to be charged (neutral).


Note: If students uncover that their plastic piece does not move toward their hand, it have to not have been charged fine enough. Have them shot charging their plastic piece by stop it down on your pants or shirt and then easily pulling it v the other hand. Then they have to test to see if the plastic is attracted to their clothes. If not, student should try charging the plastic again.


Have students inspection what happens as soon as a rubbed plastic strip is held near a desk or chair.

Procedure, component 2

Charged plastic and also neutral deskCharge one strip of plastic the same method you walk previously.

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

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

Expected results

The plastic moves towards the desk.

Explain to students why the plastic is attractive to the desk. The answer take away a couple of steps, so girlfriend can overview students by drawing or projecting a intensified illustration the the plastic and also desk.

After pulling the plastic in between their fingers, the plastic benefit extra electrons and also a negative charge. The desk has the same number of protons as electrons and is neutral. As soon as the plastic gets close to the desk, the negatively charged plastic repels electron on the surface of the desk. This makes the surface of the workdesk near the plastic contempt positive. The negatively fee plastic is attracted to this positive area, so the plastic moves towards it.


Have student charge 2 pieces of plastic and also hold them near each other to watch if electrons repel one other.

Ask student to make a prediction:

What perform you think will happen if you charge 2 strips that plastic and bring them close to each other?

Procedure, component 3

2 pieces of charged plasticCharge 2 strips of plasticSlowly bring the two strips of plastic near each other. Create “attract” or “repel” in the graph on the activity sheet.

Expected results

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

Ask students:

What occurred when you brought the 2 pieces that plastic close to each other?The ends of the strips moved away from every other.Use what girlfriend know about electrons and charges to explain why this happens.Each strip has actually extra electron so they are both negative charged. Because like charges repel, the pieces of plastic repelled every other.Explore

Have students apply their knowledge of protons and also electrons to explain what happens when a charged balloon is lugged near pieces of paper.

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Materials because that each group

Inflated balloonSmall piece of paper, confetti-size


Rub a balloon on her hair or clothes. Extra Extend

Demonstrate just how electrons can entice a currently of water.

Either perform the adhering to demonstration or display the video clip Balloon and Water.

Materials because that the demonstration



Rub a balloon on your shirt or pants to give it a static charge. Revolve on the faucet so that there is a very thin currently of water. Slowly lug the charged component of the balloon close come the currently of water.

Expected results

The present of water should bend as it is attracted to the balloon.

Ask students:

What did friend observe when the charged balloon was organized near the currently of water?The present of water bent towards the balloon. Usage what you know about electrons, protons, and charges to describe why this happens.When you rub the balloon on her hair or garments it choose up extra electrons, giving the balloon a an adverse charge. Once you bring the balloon close to the currently of water, the electron from the balloon defeat the electron in the water. Since an ext protons room at the surface ar of the water, it has a hopeful change. Opposites attract, for this reason the water moves towards the balloon.