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From Molecules to Mole Day Do's
Mole Day Activities for Teachers to do with Families

Joy M. Barnes-Johnson
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Grade Level
Time Alloment
 Two 45-minute class periods (90-minute extra-curricular activity)


Mole Day is a "national" celebration of chemistry and education that is an ideal time to engage families with the science educational process. It is observed from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm on October 23rd (6:02, 10/23). Why? The mole is a unit of measurement based on work done almost 200 years ago by Amadeo Avogadro as he studied gas behavior. His work led to the association of a number – 6.02 x 1023 – with the mole. Similar to the dozen, a mole is a unit of matter that allows particles to be "counted." The major difference between the mole and the dozen is that the mole is much bigger!

Through the activities presented in this lesson, students will become familiar with the mole concept and develop memory pathways for recalling key ideas associated with this magnanimous quantity. Additionally, students and families will be provided online resources for checking their understanding of the content.

Learning Activities

Students will be able to:
  • Recognize methods used to define the mole
  • Convert various quantities to the mole
  • Provide a context for understanding the usefulness of scientific notation and the mole


New York State Learning Standards for Math, Science and Technology, Commencement level

MST Standard 3, Key Idea 2
Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics in real-world settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems, geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability, and trigonometry.

MST Standard 4, Key Idea 3
Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science. Students explain the properties of materials in terms of the arrangement and properties of the atoms that compose them.

Media Components


The Mole Concept #4: Avogadro's Hypothesis

The Mole Concept #6: The Mole

Web sites:

Discovery School
This Web site provides an online scientific notation converter.

Glencoe Online Chapter 11 Mole Science Quiz
This is an interactive textbook companion quiz site and comprehensive mole concept evaluation that includes empirical formula calculations, percent composition, mole-atom-molecule conversion and molecular mass. It also provides tutorial hints.

Houghton-Mifflin Chemistry (General Chemistry) Online
This Web site is more advanced for online quiz development. It provides random questions for quizzes, and also provides tutorial links when questions are answered incorrectly.

Mass Moles and GFW
This Web site allows learners to perform various calculations that involve manipulations of mass data, formula mass (GFW), and moles. Problems are randomly generated to provide learners several approaches to this type of problem. Significant figure rules also are used to reinforce appropriate calculation methods.

Scientific Notation Page
This scientific notation review site provides a text tutorial as well as interactive components to facilitate understanding of the conversion of numbers from standard form to scientific notation. Learners receive immediate feedback concerning their input.

Addison Wesley Scientific notation quiz
This Web site provides a 22-question quiz to test students' ability to put numbers in scientific notation, decimal form from scientific notation, and uses/applicability of scientific notation to real life contexts.

Visionlearning: Mole Quiz
Vision Learning is a wonderful teacher resource for developing quick checks for understanding in class. A non-random set of seven questions reviews Avogadro's Number definition and application and molecular mass.

Houghton Mifflin World of Chemistry (Chemical Composition) Flash Cards
This textbook companion site generates 7 flashcards to review mole-related concepts. The cards can be printed and cut out or played online. If played online, students can shuffle the pack and/or "check off" terms already learned to prevent redundancy; students may view all cards or just those cards that they have not learned. Terms are shown on one side, and definitions are displayed on the reverse side, which is activated by a "flip" command. "Rapid review" allows students to view terms and definitions simultaneously. This site requires the Shockwave plug-in, available online at

Three levels of "Whack-a-Mole" played similarly to the arcade game are available on this site. Players get five misses before the game is over. This page is maintained by Teach Learn and Communicate (TLC) Center for elementary students. Links to geography, math, and English pages abound. Additionally, learners can visit several nations from the homepage on a virtual arcade tour to Korea, Taiwan, China, Portugal, or Israel.


Per class:

  • TV and VCR
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Timer or stopwatch
  • Round-Robin Rule sheet
Per student:
  • Periodic table
  • Mole Hill worksheet
  • Calculator
  • Pencil and paper
  • 1 sheet construction paper
Per group/family:
  • Sci Island handout
  • Scientific Notation worksheet
  • Masking tape
  • 1 sheet newsprint
  • 2 markers
Per team of 2 groups/families:
  • Round-Robin scorecard
  • World of Chemistry Chemical Composition Flash Cards