Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Review, Culminating Project, Stoichiometry | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: The Chemistry Escape Room Remix

    In this activity, students will apply their chemistry knowledge in order to solve ten clues in an effort to determine a three-digit combination that will open a “lock.” This is ideal for a review activity, as the clues span a plethora of chemistry topics. The solution from each clue will be used to correctly write a chemical reaction and a corresponding stoichiometry calculation. Ultimately, by solving the stoichiometry calculation, the answer will match the numbers in the three-digit combination and open the “lock.”

  • Interdisciplinary | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Chemistry Reading Reflection

    In this activity, students will read a short informational science text about chemistry in the real-world (either pre-selected by the teacher, or chosen by the student from a collection of articles) and will briefly summarize and reflect on what they read. This activity could be reused many times with different articles (or even other types of media, like videos) and would be easy to incorporate into a sub plan.

  • Pharmaceuticals, Monomer, Polymers, Molecular Structure , Interdisciplinary, History | High School

    Lesson Plan: Carbohydrate Metabolism

    In this lesson, students will learn about how the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body were studied. 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.

  • Concentration, Precipitate, Molarity, Molality, Conductivity, Colligative Properties, Boiling Point Elevation, Freezing Point Depression, Distillation, Culminating Project, Graphing, Accuracy, Error Analysis, Interdisciplinary, Mixtures, pH, Buffers, Boiling Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Investigating Sea Water

    In this lesson, students will consider their water footprint and means to obtain fresh water from seawater using a solar still. To understand the differences between fresh water and seawater, students will determine the composition of artificial seawater by using qualitative analysis to test for different ions in solution and calculate the molarity of different salts used in the recipe. Students will observe the effects of solutes in aqueous solutions by measuring conductivity and the freezing and boiling points of seawater and deionized water and determine total dissolved solids. In addition, students explore the buffering ability of seawater and the effect of carbon dioxide on its pH.

  • Renewable Energy, Heat, Temperature, Specific Heat, Interdisciplinary, Graphing | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Solar Cookers

    In this lesson, students will learn about the use of alternative cooking fuels that could replace burning wood, coal, or other smoke-producing materials to heat and cook food in developing nations, focusing on solar cookers. They will watch a video and read an article that provide a general overview of the need for alternative fuels. Then, in small groups, students will research, design, build, and test a solar cooker to determine if it is an effective method of cooking food in a developing nation. They will give a presentation to the class on their design, test results, and any improvements they would make to their initial design, and they will answer some reflection questions about the solar cookers made by their class and their role in the group project.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Chemical Properties, Solute & Solvent, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Local Water Analysis

    In this lab, students use simple pool test strips to collect water samples from local water sources, such as area faucets, pools, lakes, rivers, puddles, etc. They will compile all of the collected data to allow students to collectively make observations and ask testable questions. After determining a question of interest, groups of students will organize the related data, research relevant background information, form reasonable conclusions, and present their arguments.

  • Combustion, Chemical Change, Balancing Equations, Reaction Rate, Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Matter, Stoichiometry, Limiting Reactant, Chemical Change, Conservation of Matter, Conservation of Mass, Graphing, Error Analysis, Accuracy, Observations, Inferences, Interdisciplinary, Reaction Rate, Catalysts, Measurements, Mole Concept | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Clean Air Chemistry

    In this lesson, students will learn about air pollution and some steps toward mitigating it. First, they will burn a candle and measure its mass and the concentration of CO2 over time. Students will discuss which data set they have more confidence in and why and then use stoichiometry to predict outcomes. Next, students explore incomplete combustion in a model-based worksheet that shows how a lack of O2 in the burning of fuels can produce air pollution. Students work together to interpret the models, define terms, and draw conclusions. Lastly, students work in groups using Lego models to illustrate how a catalytic converter works. They race “Nature” against catalysts “Palladium,” “Platinum,” and “Rhodium” to see what breaks down air pollution molecules fastest.

  • Atomic Radius, Atoms, Ionic Radius, Subatomic Particles, Periodic Table | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Atomic & Ionic Radii

    In this activity, students will use an animation to visualize atomic and ionic radii. They will look at the different sizes of atoms in the third period and the atoms in the sixth group to see trends across periods and down groups. They will also look at an atom and its corresponding cation as well as an atom and its corresponding anion.

  • Measurements, SI Units, Mole Concept, Physical Properties, Density | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Units of Chemistry

    In this activity, students will view an animation that introduces them to the importance of including units to communicate the value of measurements effectively. The animation presents definitions, units of measurement, and measuring tools for physical properties that are commonly measured or calculated in chemistry class: mass, length, temperature, volume, amount (moles), and density.

  • Atomic Structure, Atomic Mass, Electrons, Ions, Subatomic Particles, Density, Periodic Table, Quantitative Chemistry, Dimensional Analysis, Mole Concept | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: A Pound of Numbers

    In this activity, students will review a series of fundamental chemistry questions and select the answer from two choices provided. Upon completion, the sum of all the correct answers will equal the number of grams in one pound. Students can then use dimensional analysis to determine the number of grams in one pound for comparison.

  • Quantitative Chemistry, Percent Composition, Measurements, Observations | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Dehydration of Hydrated Salt

    In this lab, students are introduced to chemical measurement in a hands-on investigation using a heat source and a hydrated compound. Students will determine the percentage water lost, by mass, from a hydrated compound during the heating process. Additionally, students will analyze and interpret their results in a claim, evidence, reasoning format.

  • SI Units, Mole Concept, Measurements, Physical Properties, Density | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Animation: Units of Chemistry Animation

    In this animation, students will be introduced to the importance of including units to communicate the value of measurements effectively. The animation presents definitions, units of measurement, and measuring tools for physical properties that are commonly measured or calculated in chemistry class: mass, length, temperature, volume, amount (moles), and density. **This video has no audio**

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Interdisciplinary | Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Fashionable Chemistry

    In this lesson, students will explore the characteristics of different types of natural and synthetic fabrics. Students will learn how synthetic fabrics are made and review the chemical formulas for various fabrics. Finally, students will demonstrate their knowledge by holding a chemistry fashion show.

  • Limiting Reactant, Stoichiometry, Balancing Equations, Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Matter, Combustion, Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Matter | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Limiting Reactant

    In this activity, students will use an animation to visualize on the particulate level what happens in a limiting reactant problem. Assembling a bike is used as an analogy to introduce the concept of limiting reactant, and then the balanced equation of the combustion of methane is used in four quantitative examples to show what it means for a chemical to be a limiting reactant. The concept of the conservation of mass is also demonstrated by calculating masses from the mole quantities of the reactants and products.

  • Density, Graphing | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: You Are My Density

    In this lab, students will collect and plot both volume and mass data in order to better understand density as a constant by using the line of best fit. They will then model and analyze a perplexing situation involving density to consider the application of density in everyday life.

  • Colligative Properties, Boiling Point Elevation, Freezing Point Depression, Concentration, Solute & Solvent, Boiling Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Molecular Motion, Graphing, Physical Properties, Heat, Temperature | High School

    Simulation: Colligative Properties

    In this simulation, students will investigate the effects of different solutes, and different amounts of those solutes, on the boiling point and freezing point of a solution. Students will see particle-level animations of boiling and freezing with different types and amounts of solutes, as well as graphical representations of the results of each trial.

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

    Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Interdisciplinary, Polymers | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Puzzling, Twisted Fibers

    In this activity, students will attempt to solve clues related to the chemistry of fabrics. Starting at the center of the maze, students will fill in each word suggested by the 20 given clues. Answering each clue correctly will help students solve the riddle provided at the end of the activity. This puzzle can be used in the classroom as part of the Fabulous Fibers theme celebration for 2022 National Chemistry Week.

  • Colligative Properties, Boiling Point Elevation, Freezing Point Depression, Concentration, Solute & Solvent, Boiling Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Molecular Motion, Graphing, Physical Properties, Heat, Temperature | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Simulation Activity: The Effect of Solutes on Boiling and Freezing Point

    In this activity, students will use a colligative properties simulation to investigate the effects of different solutes, and different amounts of those solutes, on the boiling point and freezing point of a solution. Students will see particle-level animations of boiling and freezing with different types and amounts of solutes, as well as graphical representations of the results of each trial.

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

    Lesson Plan: 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.

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

    Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Interdisciplinary, History, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School

    Lesson Plan: 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.

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

    Lesson Plan: 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.

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

    Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Interdisciplinary, History, Solubility, Concentration | High School

    Lesson Plan: 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.

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