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Gases Unit Plan (4 Favorites)

LESSON PLAN in Gas Laws. Last updated May 30, 2017.


In this unit, students will investigate gases similar to how scientists learned about them “back in the day.” Students begin by investigating gas behavior, then they investigate gas density and use this to interpret Avogadro’s hypothesis that gases under the same conditions combine in simple whole number ratios. This unit plan was created by W. Patrick Cunningham of CT Johnson High School in San Antonio, Texas. Read his Chemistry Solutions article for more information about this unit.

Grade Level

High school


By the end of this unit, students should be able to

  • Understand the relationship between temperature, volume, and pressure of gases.
  • Recognize that gases have mass and therefore density.
  • Realize that gas particles are different sizes, which is what effects their density.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

  • Gases
  • Density


Teacher Preparation: See individual activities
: Seven class periods


  • Refer to individual activities


Always wear safety goggles when working with chemicals in the lab.

Teacher Notes & Downloads

Lesson 1

Students qualitatively become acquainted with the gas laws.

Lesson 2

Students interpret results from gas law investigation to determine temperature, pressure, and volume relationships, which provokes the idea of gas having density.

Lesson 3

Students quantitatively investigate gas densities.

Lesson 4

Students become more familiar with the concept of gas density on the microscopic level.

  • Discuss, using the PowerPoint with explanations, why gases differ in density (more particles per volume or heavier particles per volume)
Lesson 5 Students investigate gas compressibility to collect data and lead them to determine which density theory is correct.
Lesson 6

Students use their results from the Boyle’s Law lab deduce which of the two density theories is correct.

  • Sample data [Word or PDF] from Boyle’s law lab (with a metered pressure sensor)
  • Discuss, using the PowerPoint [or PDF] with explanations, which gas density theory is correct
Lesson 7 Once students have come to the conclusion that the higher-mass particles theory best explains differing gas densities, they watch a video about the law of combining volumes and Avogadro’s hypothesis.