Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Elements, Periodic Table | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Identify Your Elements

    In this lesson, students observe the teacher using a set of Russian Nesting Dolls to create analogies between structure and shape of the periodic table. Students are taught to navigate the periodic table, identify specific elements by atomic number, analyze several element samples, and determine the identity of a mystery material.

  • Observations, Density, Physical Properties | Elementary School

    Lab: Under the Sea: A Density Aquarium!

    In this lab, students will create a density aquarium. They will develop a written response comparing and contrasting the densities of the various objects within the aquarium. This lab is designed for students to work in groups after they have an understanding of density and other physical properties.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 1: Safety Mindset

    The chemistry lab is an amazing place! Through experiments and demonstrations your high school students have been discovering that chemistry is more than just a collection of facts and formulas-- it’s a way of observing and understanding the very real properties of matter all around them. However, the lab can also be a dangerous place. Contrary to what your students might have seen in films and TV, safety is a core value of chemistry—it is essential to everything they do in the lab. It begins with their mindset, the attitudes and beliefs they bring to class with them every day. Use this video to introduce your students to elements of safe importance of safety mindset in the chemistry lab.

  • Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Chemical Properties | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: A Physical vs. Chemical Challenge

    In this activity, students will first complete a card sort to best categorize examples of change as physical or chemical change. Then they will compete in teams to identify whether given situations represent a physical change or a chemical change, or a physical or a chemical property.

  • Lab Safety | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Super Safety Scientists

    In this activity, students will brainstorm ideas for keeping people safe during lab activities and design personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for a given situation.

  • Interdisciplinary, Photosynthesis | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Investigating Photosynthesis

    In this lesson, students will build knowledge through reading an assigned passage, as well as analyze evidence produced from a teacher led demonstration to better understand the process of photosynthesis.

  • Physical Properties, Chemical Properties | Elementary School

    Activity: Solving Problems like a Scientist

    In this activity, students will analyze several scenarios in order to better understand and apply their knowledge of physical and chemical properties.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties | Elementary School

    Activity: Junior Technologist of Floor Care

    In this activity students will take the role of the Junior Technologist of Floor Care, whereby students have the opportunity to study the properties of a chemical used for finishing floor tile. They will examine the tiles appearance to discover which chemical provides the best sheen and durability.

  • Solubility, Physical Change, Solute & Solvent | Elementary School

    Demonstration: Crystallization of Sugar

    In this demonstration, students will observe how to make rock candy in order to understand how sugar crystals form. They will be able to explain what a supersaturated solution is and how it is relevant to sugar crystallization.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 2: Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

    Preparation and planning are key to working in the chemistry lab. To be prepared, your students must understand the hazards of any chemicals they will be working with. The place to find that information is the Safety Data Sheet or SDS. The SDS provides detailed information about the properties of a chemical, its hazards, and how to protect yourself from those hazards. Use this video, to guide your students through 16 sections of the SDS for isopropyl alcohol to demonstrate importance of SDS information.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 3: How to Dress for the Lab? And what about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

    Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) for short is one of the main ways for you and your students to stay protected from injury in the lab. PPE includes things like goggles, gloves, lab coats or aprons. These are designed to protect eyes, hands and skin, as well as clothing, from exposure to chemicals. PPE is the most obvious way of preventing contact with chemicals--but it is not the first line of defense. Use these video to teach your students that before they put on any PPE, why they should dress properly for lab.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 4: Preparing for Emergencies

    There is an old saying that you should always plan for the best, but prepare for the worst. This is good advice in the lab as well. Use this video to teach your students about two lab emergencies that carry a high risk of injury--spills and fires. The videos describes concrete steps to prevent these emergencies and goes over some of the safety equipment used to deal with them.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 5: RAMP (For Students)

    Use this video to teach your students a simple yet powerful tool for protecting you and your classmates in the lab. The tool is called RAMP. RAMP stands for: Recognize hazards; Assess risks; Minimize risks and Prepare for emergencies.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 6: RAMP (For Teachers)

    As a teacher, there are steps you can take to make sure your students are as safe as possible while exploring and experimenting in the lab. In this video, we discuss some ideas to help you to set up a safe lab experiment. We use RAMP, the acronym for lab safety. RAMP stands for Recognize hazards; Assess risks; Minimize risks and Prepare for emergencies. RAMP is a simple yet powerful tool to help you prepare for and safely carry out any lab activity with your students.

  • Elements, Periodic Table | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: The Periodic Table: Put Your Love to the Test!

    In this activity, students will be challenged to see how familiar they are will the element names on the periodic table. Students will examine a heart-shaped word search, following the rules of the assigned difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) in order to identify as many element names as possible.

  • Elements, Periodic Table | Elementary School

    Activity: Elemental Scrabble

    In this activity students will create words using element symbols in order to become more familiar with the periodic table.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Matter | Elementary School

    Activity: Is Air Matter?

    In this activity, students will conduct an investigation to discover whether or not air is a form of matter. Students will first gather data, and then make a claim. They will communicate their claim in writing, using their data to support their claim.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Matter | Elementary School

    Activity: Describing Physical Properties

    In this activity, students will use their five senses to describe the physical properties of a variety of items. Students will also determine what state of matter the item is, and categorize it accordingly. Students will practice using vocabulary words as they record their observations in a data table.

  • Density, Measurements | Elementary School

    Demonstration: Sinking Soda

    In this teacher led demonstration, students will compare their observations when unopened cans of diet and regular soda are placed in a large container of water. They will use their observations to help differentiate between several fundamental chemistry concepts: mass, volume, and density.

  • Density, Identifying an Unknown, Measurements | Middle School, Elementary School

    Demonstration: Household Densities

    In this demonstration, students will make predictions about various household materials and whether or not each will sink or float when placed in water. Data will be collected and then used to calculate the density value of each item. Finally students will analyze the relationship between the density value and the observed outcome, and use their knowledge to identify unknown materials.

  • Elements, Periodic Table | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Elemental Mix-up

    In this activity, students will test their knowledge of the periodic table as they attempt to unscramble element names and use select letters to solve a mystery message.

  • Elements, Atomic Spectra, Identifying an Unknown, Emission Spectrum, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Emission Spectrum | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Elements Are Out of This World

    In this lesson, students will learn about the elements that make up Earth’s atmosphere and lithosphere and then compare and contrast the information with the elements that compose various other astronomical objects.

  • Density, Chemical Change, Elements, Physical Change, Periodic Table, Review, Matter, Mixtures | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Chemistry Basics: Crossword Puzzle

    In this activity, students will complete a crossword puzzle by solving each clue that is related to a basic, yet fundamental chemistry topic.

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