Lesson Plan

Introduction to the Mole


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Big Ideas




In this lesson, students learn why and how the mole is used in chemistry. Students will:

  • calculate the formula weights of various compounds.
  • apply the mole concept to representative particles by determining the mass of atoms, molecules, ions, and formula units.
  • perform mass-mole conversions.
  • conduct a laboratory activity to calculate and determine if a mole of pennies would fit inside the classroom.

Essential Questions

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  • Atomic Mass: The mass in atomic mass units (amu) of one mole of a substance.
  • Conversion Factor: A ratio equal to one that expresses the same quantity in two different ways.
  • Formula Unit: The representative particle of an ionic compound.
  • Formula Weight: The weight of a molecular compound or an ionic compound.
  • Gram-mole: The mass of one mole, or 6.02 × 1023 particles, expressed in grams.
  • Mole: The quantity of a substance that has a weight, measured in grams, that is numerically equal to the molecular weight of that substance. Expressed as 6.02 × 1023 particles (Avogadro’s number); mol is used in equations, mole is used in writing.
  • Molar Mass: The sum of all the atomic masses in a molecule or compound; the mass in grams of one mole of a substance.
  • Representative Particles: The atoms, molecules, ions, or formula units present in a substance.


90 minutes/2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills


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Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

  • How Big Is a Mole?


  • The World of Chemistry (video on the mole concept)


  • Mole Song (“A Mole is a Unit”)


  • Happy Mole Day to You Song


  • Table of Atomic Weights (in alphabetical order and in order of atomic number)


  • The Mole Concept (Avogadro’s Number)


  • Mole Toons (mole cartoons)


Formative Assessment


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