Elements, Molecules, and Compounds ... Oh My!

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11040

Can you combine two atoms? Yes they are very tiny, but you can mix two substances together to form molecules and compounds. What are they? Get your toothpicks and gumdrops or marshmallows to find out!



learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


In the previous Related Lesson, found in the right-hand sidebar, you learned about elements.

  • Is it possible to combine elements?
  • What do you think would happen if elements were combined?
  • Would they create something new?
  • Would they cause an explosion?

Let's find out!

Before you begin learning new information, let's review what you learned in the previous Related Lessons.

Look at the following information from the periodic table of elements:


  • What does this information tell you about the element and its atomic structure?

It is possible to combine two or more elements. When this happens, the result is called a molecule.

Sometimes, when elements are combined, it creates a compound. A compound is created when two or more different elements are combined. Therefore, a compound is also a molecule, but a molecule is not always a compound. For example, O2 is only a molecule because it combines the same element. CO2 is both a compound and a molecule because it combines different elements.

To learn more about elements and compounds, watch the StudyJams! video, Elements & Compounds. When you visit the page, only click the green "PLAY VIDEO" button. You will test yourself later in the lesson. Then, read the Chem4Kids.com article, Compound Basics, and Ducksters article, Molecules.

  • Can you explain the difference between an element, molecule, and compound?

Think about your ideas, then continue on to the Got It? section for some practice.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.