Chemistry Thus Far . . .

student whiteboard of their "model so far"

Using a whiteboard or poster paper each group of students creates their interpretation of the model thus far based on a content unit they are given.


This review activity can be used for any unit and complies with state and NGSS standards.

Time required: 
Timeline for This Activity:
  • This activity can be done at the end of each unit, before a semester exam, or when students return from an extended break



Scientists perform experiments in order to learn about the natural world. They analyze the data they collect in order to explain various observations.  Recall that explanations of scientific phenomena, known as theories, are most useful when they make reliable predictions.  Oftentimes, scientists create models to describe, explain and predict phenomena within natural world. Throughout chemistry, we create and refine a series of models to explain our observations.  As we make new observations and analyze new data, we will find that we either need a new model or we need to add features to our current model in order for it to maintain its usefulness. 


Student Expectations:

  • It is the group’s decision to determine what content is essential to their understanding as well as how to visually represent it.
  • Requirements can vary however students should use multiple representations of the material and not just vocabulary terms and their definitions.
  • Each group then presents their unit to the rest of the class and fields any student and/or teacher questions.

Teacher Expectations:

  • The teacher’s role during this activity is to formatively assess each group to determine if they have identified the essential components as well as ask questions in order to prepare the group for their informal presentation.
  • During each presentation the teacher can ask extension questions to each group as well as ask the class how the previous unit(s) connects to the current unit.



Each group will need either a large whiteboard or poster paper as well as markers.

Student grouping should be prepared ahead of time.

A list of questions that will be asked to each group as well as to the entire class should be prepared ahead of time however be prepared to ask questions that may come up as a result of the discussion.


Concept Mapping As a Review Tool by Shannon Bowen -

Adapted from the American Modeling Teachers Association Resource “The Model Thus Far…”