Teacher Notes


Student Activity Kit

Materials Included In Kit

Eyes, 15 mm, 60
Felt, black, 9" x 12", 2 pieces
Felt, brown, 9" x 12", 2 pieces
Fiberfill stuffing, 24 oz bag (enough for 30 moles)
Mole pattern master
Pom poms, ½", black, 32 (for noses)
Yarn, 8 yards (for tails)

Additional Materials Required

Fabric or felt (for body and feet), various colors and textures as desired
Glue (fabric or Elmer’s school)
Needle and thread (or sewing machine)

Prelab Preparation

  1. Copy enough mole patterns from the master so each student has a copy.
  2. Cut the yarn into 6-inch pieces to be used for the tails.
  3. Distribute to each student—two eyes, one pom pom nose, one 6-inch black yarn tail, one mole pattern and enough fiberfill stuffing to fill a mole (~20 g).

Teacher Tips

  • Any fabric can be used, but the best fabrics for stuffed animals are soft, stretchy fabrics, such as sweatshirt fleece, velour, felt or cotton knits. Obtain fabric to personalize your mole, if desired.

    Mole Pattern Tips

  • Enough eyes, noses, tails and stuffing are provided in this kit for 30 students working individually to each make his/her own mole. Students provide their own fabric or felt in a variety of colors and textures.
  • Enough felt is provided in the kit for the teacher to make a demonstration (sample) mole. The kit contains two pieces each of black and brown felt—this can be used for the demonstration mole and/or for claws for student moles. Students can use any fabrics, but the best fabrics for stuffed animals are soft, stretchy fabrics such as sweatshirt fleece, velour, felt, or cotton knits. Have students bring in their own fabric or felt from home. Encourage creativity as students personalize their moles. Some ideas for mole designs are provided.
  • A half yard of fabric is enough for 10 moles, so 1½ yards will make 30 moles. You may wish to supply fabric, needles and thread, and pins, and make this an in-class activity. Or you may distribute eyes, noses, tails, patterns and stuffing and have students make their moles at home.
  • The mole pattern supplied makes a mole of about 20 centimeters in length. Moles can be scaled down or scaled up. To make a “Mini Mole,” reduce the size of the pattern on the copy machine. To make a “Mega Mole,” cut out the pieces from the mole pattern. Center each piece separately on a copier and enlarge (up to 200%). Mega Moles may need larger eyes—large buttons work well.
  • The Weird Science Group makes a detachable (2-piece) mole so that they can make and explain 0.5 molar solutions (see below). To make a 2-piece mole, make the mole as described in the student procedure, except when sewing the mole, sew the three big pieces completely together (right side in), without leaving a section (A to B) not sewed. Use scissors to cut the mole in half, so there is a front “head” piece and a back “tail” piece. Cut two petal-shaped pieces of fabric to fit the open cavities (see Figure A). Sew a petal-shaped piece of fabric into the body cavity on each side, leaving a gap through which you can invert the mole to get the seams inside. Stuff and hand-stitch each side of the mole, and use Velcro® to attach the two detachable parts.

    {11976_Tips_Figure_A_Optional detachable mole piece}

    Teaching Tips (as shared by DeWayne Lieneman)

  • When the mole concept and mole calculations are first introduced, large and small moles can serve as “mascots” for the chemistry class. The large mole can rest on top of the safety goggle cabinet to oversee the class. Students have been known to request the right to punch the mole after a frustrating exam on moles, or to kidnap moles and hold them for ransom.
  • Give extra credit for students who make a mole—out of class time.
  • Have a mole contest and give out mole certificates for the winners. Vote on various categories—most original mole, best sewn mole, funniest-looking mole, best-named mole, etc. Come up with your own categories!
  • The small whole moles and splitable moles are useful when teaching molarity. A 1-liter beaker is used and a small whole mole is added to the beaker. The “solution” is now 1 molar and unsaturated. Add a second small whole mole and the solution becomes 2 molar and close to saturation. As a splitable mole is split and the front half is added to the beaker, the solution becomes a 2.5-molar solution and now saturated. Groans are normally heard throughout the room as it is noted that “mole-asses” are left. Have fun with your moles!

    Suggestions for Mole Designs

  • Following are some creative ideas for mole designs (as shared by teachers and their students). Feel free to share these ideas with your students. Or have your students come up with their own original ideas!

    Avogadro Mole, Baby Mole, Beach Mole, Bears Mole (or favorite football team), Bride Mole, Cheerleader Mole, Chemist Mole, Christmas Mole, Cubs Mole (or favorite baseball team), Dancer Mole, Eski Mole, Holy Mole-y, Kitty Mole, Madonna Mole, Mega Mole, Michael Jordan Mole, Mickey Mole, Minnie Mole, Mole-a Lisa, Mole-y Cow, North Mole/South Mole, Pillsbury Mole Boy, Roadkill Mole, Santa Claws Mole, Snoopy Mole, Spider Mole, Super Mole, Teacher Mole


Special thanks to DeWayne Lieneman of the Weird Science Group, retired chemistry teacher, Glenbard South High School, Glen Ellyn, IL, for sharing the mole idea with Flinn.

Mattson, B.; Kubovy, M. A.; Hepburn, J.; Lannan, J. Chemistry Demonstration Aids That You Can Build; Flinn Scientific: Batavia, IL, 1997; pp 17, 87–88.

Student Pages



Make a Mole? What is a mole? The dictionary defines a mole as “a small, insectivorous, burrowing mammal having a thickset body with silky light-brown to dark-gray fur, rudimentary eyes, tough muzzles, and strong forefeet for digging and usually living underground.” Another definition of a mole is “a small growth on the human skin.” The term “mole” also has great significance in chemistry. A molecular mole represents a unit of measure that is a collection of 6.022 × 1023 particles. The dictionary defines this type of mole as “the amount of a substance that has a weight in grams equal to the substance’s molecular weight.”

With this activity, you’ll have some fun and use your creativity to design your own mole. Although the result will look like a small mammal, in chemistry you’ll know it represents the 6.022 × 1023!


  • Mole


Eyes, 2
Fabric or felt (for body and feet)*
Fiberfill stuffing
Glue (fabric or Elmer’s school)
Mole pattern
Needle and thread (or sewing machine)
Pom pom (for nose)
Yarn, about 6 inches (for tail)
*See Tips.


General Sewing Hints

  1. All pattern pieces include a ¼"-seam allowance. Use a double piece of thread when sewing the mole.
  2. When you begin sewing, remember to have the fabric surfaces that you want on the outside (referred to as the right side) facing each other since ultimately the mole will be turned inside out.
Cutting the Fabric
  1. Cut out the pattern pieces (side body, bottom belly and feet) from the paper mole pattern. Be sure to also cut out the black notches as a protrusion from each piece—the notches are important for proper alignment when sewing the mole together.
  2. Obtain fabric or felt for the side body pieces of your mole. Fold the fabric into a double layer. This will allow you to cut two identical pieces of fabric at once.
  3. Lay the side body paper pattern on the double layer of fabric. Pin the pattern in place onto the fabric.
  4. Cut out the side body pieces from the fabric, creating two mirror image pieces. Be sure to cut out the notches. Remove the pins.
  5. Obtain fabric or felt for the bottom belly piece. Lay the bottom belly pattern on a single layer of fabric. Pin the pattern in place onto the fabric.
  6. Cut out the belly piece from the fabric. Be sure to cut out the notches. Remove the pins.
  7. Cut out four claw pieces for the feet from the desired fabric or felt. If you desire a star-shaped nose, cut out a fabric or felt nose (or use a pom pom nose.)
Attaching the Feet
  1. Place the belly piece on the table, right side (outside) up.
  2. Place one drop of tacky fabric glue (or Elmer’s school glue) on the edge of the belly pattern that is marked with a double notch.
  3. Attach a claw to the foot with claws pointing toward the midline and right side up.
  4. Repeat for all four feet. Allow the glue to dry.
  5. Alternatively, sew the claws in place on the feet (or pin them and sew them when sewing the mole).
Sewing the Mole
  1. Place the two side body pieces together with right (outside) sides together. Pin the two pieces together.
  2. 2Sew the two side body pieces together from nose to tail along the spine (top edge) of the mole.
  3. Locate notches A and B on the sewn body piece. Pin the belly piece to the body pieces with right sides together and feet inside.
  4. Sew all the way around the body (the long way) from notch A to notch B as shown on the dotted line on the pattern. Note: Leave the space between A and B open on one side as the stuffing hole.
  5. Optional: If desired, attach the tail from the inside and sew it in place. Alternately, the tail can be attached after the mole is sewn.
  6. Remove all pins and turn the mole right side (inside) out through the A to B gap. All seams will now be on the inside of the mole and the right side of the fabric should now be on the outside.
  7. Stuff the mole with fiberfill stuffing. Be sure to pack the mole with plenty of stuffing and especially to pack the legs and feet firmly as that will give the mole more stability.
  8. Fold in the raw edges from A to B. Pin the edges together and hand-stitch the seam from A to B closed.
  9. Attach the eyes and pom pom or star-shaped nose with fabric glue, or by sewing.
  10. Sew a yarn tail onto the mole, if a tail wasn’t added in step 5.

Next Generation Science Standards and NGSS are registered trademarks of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.