Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Physical Properties, Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Covalent Bonding, Molecular Geometry, Lewis Structures | High School

    Activity: Simulation Activity: Intermolecular Forces

    In this simulation, students will review the three major types of intermolecular forces – London dispersion forces, dipole-dipole interactions, and hydrogen bonding – through short video clips and accompanying text. They will then answer quiz questions using the relative strengths of these forces to compare different substances given their name, formula, and Lewis structure, and put them in order based on the strength of their intermolecular forces, their boiling point, or their vapor pressure. The simulation is designed as a five question quiz for students to use multiple times.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Elements, Interdisciplinary, Percent Composition | High School

    Activity: Investigating how the Chemistry of Plate Tectonics Affects Volcanoes

    In this activity, students will learn about the impact chemistry has on plate tectonics and volcanoes. Students will analyze graphs and charts in order to better understand these topics during this investigation.

  • Periodic Table, Atomic Radius, Ionization Energy, Electronegativity | High School

    Activity: Periodic War

    In this activity, students play a card game to apply their knowledge of the periodic trends of the main group elements.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Polarity, Covalent Bonding, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Geometry, Electronegativity | High School, Middle School

    Activity: The Chemistry of Water Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about how the molecular geometry and polarity of water give rise to many of its unusual physical properties, including its relatively high boiling point and its ability to dissolve some substances but not others.

  • History, Acid Base Reactions, Acid & Base Theories, Strong vs Weak, pH | High School, Middle School

    Activity: What are Acids & Bases? Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about acids and bases. They will learn about characteristics of acids and bases, the pH scale, and the role of acids in biochemistry.

  • Physical Properties, Introduction, History, Periodic Table, Valence Electrons, Chemical Properties, Electrons | High School, Middle School

    Activity: How the Periodic Table Organizes the Elements Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about the organization of the periodic table. They will learn about how the elements on the periodic table are organized and what their location on the table can tell us about them.

  • Introduction, Elements, History, Review, Atoms, Isotopes, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes, Electrons | High School, Middle School

    Activity: What are Isotopes? Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about isotopes. They will learn about the discovery of isotopes, the difference between chemical and nuclear reactions, different kinds of radioactive decay, and some uses of radioactive isotopes.

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Review, Culminating Project | High School

    Activity: Chemists in the Real World

    In this activity, students will research a variety of chemistry careers to learn about job options in the field of chemistry. Students who often ask “when am I ever going to use this?!” can find some real-world examples of people who use chemistry in their jobs.

  • History | High School, Middle School

    Project: Famous Women Chemists: Snapchat Storyboard

    In this lesson, students will research female chemists and create a 6-panel ‘Snapchat’ storyboard to present the information learned.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Melting Point, Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Ionic Bonding, Ionic Radius, Ions | High School

    Activity: My Name is Bond, Ionic Bond

    In this lesson, students will demonstrate their knowledge of ionic bond strength using a “brackets” activity. Pairs of students start the activity playing a game of “Ionic Compound War” to build eight compounds. Then then transfer the compounds to a “bracket” and use their knowledge of ionic bonding, along with a solubility chart, to predict the strongest and weakest bond between four pairs of ionic substances.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Melting Point, Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Ionic Bonding, Ionic Radius, Ions | High School

    Activity: Ionic Bonding Brackets

    In this lesson, students will demonstrate their knowledge of ionic bond strength and its relationship to the properties of melting point and solubility using a “brackets” activity. After analyzing the ionic charge and radius to predict the strongest and weakest bond between four pairs of ionic substances, they will then determine which will be the least soluble.

  • Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Designing a Procedure for Product Testing

    In this activity, students will take on the role of research engineers who work for a chemical company that sells coatings for different types of surfaces.  Students are required to design a procedure for testing their common household coating to prove its durability to various types of stresses. Students will be required to create procedures that can collect both quantitative and qualitative data as well as an appropriate data table.

  • Physical Properties, Concentration, Chemical Properties, pH | Middle School

    Activity: Would You Drink it?

    In this activity, students are provided with data regarding the water quality at multiple locations throughout a city. Students will determine which location should be prioritized for cleaning of contaminates. Students will utilize Claim Evidence and Reasoning (CER) to develop a claim that is supported by the data provided.

  • Interdisciplinary, Photosynthesis | Elementary School

    Activity: Sunshine for Life

    In this activity, students will become familiar with the chemistry components of photosynthesis. They will use role-play and/or demonstrations to describe the purpose of photosynthesis in this activity.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Inferences, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School, Middle School

    Demonstration: What Causes Yeast to Ferment?

    In this lesson, students will observe and verify molasses sugar content as a result of its ability to ferment yeast. They will compare how molasses allows yeast to ferment with other sugar solutions as well as a sugar-free solution.

  • Physical Properties, Molecular Formula, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding | High School

    Lesson Plan: Investigating Properties of Ionic and Covalent Compounds

    In this lesson, students will use a PhET simulation in combination with Safety Data Sheets in order to analyze specific ionic and covalent substances. Students will then use the collected data in order to identify trends in the properties of similar substances.

  • Scientific Method, Graphing, Experimental Design | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Graphing Glow-in-the-Dark Paint

    In this activity, students will have the opportunity to review the scientific method, and analyze data from a scenario about glow-in-the-dark paint. Additionally, students with create a graph to help them to interpret data.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Color Matching Paint Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about how technology, specifically focusing on spectrophotometry, can be used for paint matching. During the video, students will learn how the spectrophotometer interacts with the spectrum of visible light in order to match or reproduce specific paint colors.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Animation: Classifying Matter Animation

    In this animation, students will become familiar with definitions and examples of several broad classifications of matter, including pure substances (elements and compounds) and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous). Students will be given real-life examples as well as particle diagrams.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Elements, Compounds, & Mixtures - Oh My!

    In this activity, students will define terms related to various kinds of pure substances and mixtures, as well as analyze and draw particle diagrams.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Animation Activity: Classifying Matter

    In this animation, students will become familiar with definitions and examples of several broad classifications of matter, including pure substances (elements and compounds) and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous). Students will be given real-life examples as well as particle diagrams.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Molecular Structure | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Determining a Chemical or Physical Change

    In this lab, students will follow a laboratory procedure that instructs them how to heat a small sample of copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate. Students will make observations in order to determine if a chemical or physical change occurs.

  • History, Periodic Table, Mole Concept | High School

    Activity: The Mole Crossword Puzzle

    In this activity, students will be challenged with clues that are related to the concept of the mole in order to complete a crossword puzzle.

  • Renewable Energy, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Heat, Molecular Structure | High School, Middle School

    Video: Frontiers of Chemistry

    This video explores new scientific developments that were made possible by the application of fundamental chemistry concepts. Students will learn about exciting advances in science and technology focused on three main topics: Solar Cells, 3D Printing and Micro Machines.

  • Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Periodic Table, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Valence Electrons, Subatomic Particles, Lewis Dot Diagrams, Molecular Geometry, Ions, Lewis Structures | Middle School, High School

    Simulation: Ionic & Covalent Bonding

    In the September 2016 simulation, students investigate both ionic and covalent bonding. Students will have the opportunity to interact with many possible combinations of atoms and will be tasked with determining the type of bond and the number of atom needed to form each. Students will become familiar with the molecular formula, as well as the naming system for each type of bond and geometric shape, when applicable.

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