ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program


These lesson plans were originally developed through the American Chemical Society’s National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program. Under this program, ACS grants Landmark status to seminal achievements in the history of the chemical sciences and provides a record of their contributions to chemistry and society in the United States.

Filter by:


16 Classroom Resources

  • Lesson Plan | Heat, Isotopes, Photosynthesis, Temperature, Temperature | High School

    Climate Change and the Keeling Curve

    In this lesson, students will learn about climate change through reading about research behind carbon dioxide emissions, which led to the development of the Keeling Curve. Isotopic tracing as well as photosynthesis are briefly touched on. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Atomic Mass, Atomic Theory, Elements, History, Isotopes, Periodic Table, Radioactive Isotopes, Subatomic Particles | High School

    The Periodic Table and Transuranium Elements

    In this lesson, students will learn about the transuranium elements through reading about some of their discoveries. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Covalent Bonding, Functional Groups, History, Ionic Bonding, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Naming Compounds, Polyatomic Ions | High School

    The Development of Baking Powder

    In this lesson, students will learn about the chemistry behind baking powder through reading about its history and development over time. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Chemical Bond, Chemical Properties, Interdisciplinary, Molecular Structure, Physical Properties, Radiation | High School

    Chlorofluorocarbons and Ozone Depletion

    In this lesson, students will learn about the history of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and the harm they cause the ozone layer through an article reading. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Boiling Point, Heat, History | High School

    Norbert Rillieux, Thermodynamics and Chemical Engineering

    In this lesson, students will learn about thermodynamics through a historical story of a budding Black chemical engineer named Norbert Rillieux. He is credited with creating the process for isolating sugar crystals from sugarcane because of his keen understanding of thermodynamics. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided. Rillieux’s story is interesting from a diversity standpoint. He was a free biracial scientist living in the South during pre-Civil War times. This story provides an opportunity to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in the chemistry classroom.

  • Lesson Plan | Half Lives, History, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Radiocarbon Dating and Willard Libby

    In this lesson, students will learn about the development and application of radiocarbon dating through an article reading. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Covalent Bonding, History, Molecular Structure | High School

    Steroid Medicines: A Profile of Chemical Innovation

    In this lesson, students will learn about developing medicine through the lens of hydrocortisone while reading an article. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | History, Molecular Structure , Pharmaceuticals | High School

    Discovery of Ivermectin: Preventing Blindness and Heartworm

    In this lesson, students will learn about the drug ivermectin by reading about the chemistry behind its discovery and applications. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher since most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Chemical Properties, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Functional Groups, Heat, History, Interdisciplinary, Molecular Structure , Physical Properties, Radiation | High School

    Mars Exploration with Infrared Spectrometers

    In this lesson, students will learn about how space scientists used infrared spectrometers to explore Mars through an article reading. Space exploration involves a lot of chemistry, which many students are surprised to learn. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Concentration, History, Interdisciplinary, Solubility | High School

    Legacy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

    In this lesson, students will read an article to learn about the impact Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring has had. Arguably, the U.S. EPA was formed as a result, and a Nobel Prize-worthy discovery was banned after the book was published. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher since most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Chemical Properties, Elements, History, Identifying an Unknown, Ionic Bonding, Naming Compounds, Physical Properties | High School

    Joseph Priestley, Discoverer of Oxygen

    In this lesson, students will read an article to learn about the discovery and identification of gases, specifically oxygen by Joseph Priestley. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Measurements, Observations, Physical Properties, SI Units | High School

    Setting the Standards of Excellence

    In this lesson, students will learn about standards through a reading about the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is the U.S. body that defines standards. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Electromagnetic Spectrum, History, Interdisciplinary | High School

    Isolation of Phytochrome

    In this lesson, students will learn about plant cycles of development in relation to the electromagnetic spectrum through reading an article. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Alloys, Condensation, History, Interdisciplinary, Monomer, Monomer, Polymers, Polymers | High School

    Synthetic Materials Through History

    In this lesson, students will learn about the history of synthesized materials through reading an article. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | History, Interdisciplinary, Intermolecular Forces, Intramolecular Forces, Polymers | High School

    Scotch Transparent Tape

    In this lesson, students will learn about how sticky tape was developed through reading an article. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Lesson Plan | Dimensional Analysis, Elements, History, Interdisciplinary, Measurements, Molecular Structure , Scientific Notation, SI Units | High School

    The Discovery of Fullerenes

    In this lesson, students will learn about a class of compounds called fullerenes through a reading about their discovery. Metric conversions, organic chemistry, and allotropes are all touched on in this lesson. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

Available Filters