Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • 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.

  • 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, Mixture | 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.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Chemical Change | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lab: It's Alive

    In this lab, students will practice making and recording observations, analyzing data, and identifying chemical change. They will transfer dirt, germs, and bacteria from their hands onto a piece of white bread and observe the changes that occur during the following days. Students will analyze the results, make comparisons between clean and dirty samples of bread and learn about the importance of hand-cleaning.

  • Physical Properties, History, Periodic Table, Model of the Atom, Atomic Theory, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles, Chemical Properties | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Mendeleev Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer questions about Dimitri Mendeleev. They will learn about his contribution to chemistry, including his organization of the periodic table and awareness to leave gaps for elements that weren’t yet discovered.

  • Physical Properties, History, Periodic Table, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles, Chemical Properties | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: History of the Periodic Table Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about how the periodic table was developed and learn about those who contributed to it.

  • Physical Properties, History, Measurements, Temperature, SI Units, Accuracy | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Temperature Guys Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer questions about how both the thermometer and the concept of temperature evolved over time

  • Observations, Physical Properties, History, Matter | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Ancient Chemistry Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video about the history of chemistry. They will answer questions while learning about the history of chemistry, starting with the discovery of fire, progressing through the various metal ages, and be introduced to the great philosophers.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Physical Change, pH, Chemical Change, Indicators | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Explorations of Baking Soda and Vinegar

    In this lesson, students complete a series of simple lab experiments to better understand chemical reactions as well as differentiate between chemical change and physical change. Students will also be introduced to the pH scale, and have the opportunity to understand how chemical reactions can be used in real-world scenarios.

  • Mixtures, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Matter, Mixture | Elementary School

    Activity: Chemistry in the Kitchen!

    In this activity, students will describe the steps required to complete a recipe of their choosing. They will identify any physical and chemical changes that occur throughout the process.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Physical Change, Polymers | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lab: Paper or Plastic?

    In this lab students will research and compare the physical properties of various types of plastic bags. The recorded data will be analyzed by students, and they will use the results to design a plastic bag to meet a given set of criteria.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Physical Change | Elementary School

    Lab: Changing Shape

    In this lab students will analyze the physical properties of different materials in order to investigate their elasticity. They will learn how to differentiate between objects that can easily change shape and those that cannot. Also they will see that some objects can change shape, but can also return to their original shape. As the students learn about material properties, they will also determine what materials can be recycled.

  • Separating Mixtures, Physical Properties, Mixtures, Solute & Solvent | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lab: What Does Ironman Eat for Breakfast?

    In this lab students will compare and contrast mixtures and solutions. They will be tasked with extracting iron from various breakfast cereals. They will then conclude which cereal would be the healthiest for Iron Man to eat for breakfast.

  • Observations, Separating Mixtures, Physical Properties, Conservation of Matter | Elementary School

    Activity: How is Chemistry Used in Your Everyday Life?

    In this lesson the students will become familiar with some ways that chemistry is present in their everyday lives. The teacher will read a book and show a short video about how a plastic bottle is made. Following these activities, students will interact with a variety of materials made of plastic, ultimately organizing them according to the recycling code printed on the bottom of each or by physical properties. Finally students will collect data and have an opportunity to construct a graph based on their data.

  • Density, Temperature, Density, Molecular Motion | Elementary School

    Lab: Observing Density of Gases and Liquids

    Students will learn about and discuss the behavior of a gas using examples of convection and an optional teacher-led demonstration. Students will then participation in a lab where they will investigate water currents by observing the results of mixing colored warm water with room temperature water. The lab will be followed by a discussion about the molecular activity of the water mixture.

  • Physical Properties, Melting Point, Phase Changes, Boiling Point | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Investigating Water's States of Matter

    In this lesson, the students will identify properties of different states of matter, and then work in groups to model molecular arrangement in the solid, liquid, and gaseous states of water. This lesson will also help students to understand that the change in state as a physical change and how the solid state of water has unique properties.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Mixtures | Elementary School

    Lab: Ferromagnetic Fluid

    In this lab students will investigate the properties of ferromagnetic fluid and magnetism. Students will also have the opportunity to complete research about magnetic properties to help answer analysis questions.

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