Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

KS3 Science - Atomic History Timeline: Task

How ideas about the atom developed - evolution of the atomic model

Atomic History Timeline - Task

Task: Choose one of the eras mentioned and produce a poster which summarises the ideas about the atom at that time. Each poster will then be displayed to show the timeline of how our ideas about the atom developed.

 Your poster should include the following:

Brief biographical details about the individuals involved (e.g. Thomson, Rutherford etc) – but the people are not the most important aspect.

A diagram that shows what the atom ’looked like’ at that time, according to the work done by that scientist.

Describe – how was it different to the ideas of people before and after.

Explain – how did their work and experiments demonstrate the model that they presented?

Presentation Format

Academic Honesty


You may choose your own poster format, but the approximate text word count should not exceed 1200 words.

Diagrams, tables, charts or graphs should be used.

You must submit a bibliography and cite your sources according to Harvard format. If you are using a non-traditional presentation format you should submit your bibliography on a separate sheet of paper.

Use Harvard referencing for the bibliography & in-text referencing for information in your essay.

All resource material use (including e-information, interviews, personal comments from specialists, journal articles) must be included in the Bibliography.

Any direct quotes must be placed in inverted commas and the page number cited.


Plagiarism will result in zero marks.

Quick Recap

Early greek philosophers proposed that matter is made of indivisible building blocks known as atomos.

Dalton conducted a variety of experiments to show that different elements can combine in fixed ratios of masses to form compounds.

English scientist J.J. Thomson's cathode ray experiments led to the discovery of the negatively charged electron.

Rutherford's model suggested that the atom consisted of a densely packed core of positive charge known as the nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons

Neils Bohr improved upon Rutherford's nuclear model by explaining that the electrons were present in orbits outside the nucleus.