Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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

  • 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.

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

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

    Demonstration: Make a Cake!

    In this demonstration, students will learn about chemical reactions by observing the differences when 4 small cakes are baked. Each recipe will differ slightly in that one important ingredient will be left out in 3 of the 4 mixtures. Students will observe and discuss what happens when things are missing or left out of a mixture and how that effects the chemical reaction.

  • Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Matter | Elementary School

    Activity: Analyzing Root Beer Floats

    In this activity students will observe the states of matter while making a root beer float. They will also discover the differences between a solid, a liquid and a gas.

  • Physical Properties, Interdisciplinary, Physical Change, Matter, Separating Mixtures, Mixtures | Elementary School

    Activity: Creating Finger-Paint from Rocks

    In this activity, the students will explore the physical properties of different rocks. Students will have the opportunity to physically change the rocks, and make them part of a mixture in order to create finger paint.

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

    Lab: Chemical and Physical Changes

    In this lab, students will observe and analyze a number of examples in order to determine if a chemical or physical change occurred.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Physical Change | Elementary School

    Lab: Gummy Bear Investigation

    In this lab students will write a plan then conduct an experiment using the scientific method to observe the physical and chemical changes that a gummy bear will experience when placed in a solution of their choice.

  • Separating Mixtures, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | Elementary School

    Lab: Super Suds

    In this lab, students will investigate an endothermic chemical reaction by combining baking soda, hand soap and citric acid. The students will be tasked with differentiating between chemical and physical changes during this experiment.

  • Physical Change, History, Periodic Table | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Video: Gold Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about gold.

  • Observations, Melting Point, Phase Changes, Introduction, Physical Change | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Let's Get Physical About Water

    In this lesson, students will learn about the phase changes of matter. During the course of two days students will perform several short experiments in order to change the state of water and they will record their observations.

  • Observations, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Temperature | Elementary School, Middle School

    Lab: Condensation

    In this lab, students will explore the process of condensation. Students will investigate how water vapor condenses, and then they will conduct a comparison test to see if cooling water vapor has an effect on the rate of condensation.

  • Density, Physical Properties, Melting Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Molecular Motion, Freezing | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Pothole Science

    In this lesson, students investigate how the density and therefore the volume, of water changes when it freezes.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Solute & Solvent, Freezing Point Depression, Freezing Point | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Salting Roads in Winter

    In this lesson, students investigate how the freezing point of water changes when salt is added.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Inferences, Physical Change, Identifying an Unknown, Solute & Solvent | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Alien Invasion?

    In this lesson, students will explore both physical and chemical changes as they try to help the Department of Homeland Security analyze and identify materials found in a mysterious capsule. Students will examine and observe an unknown object (a frozen water balloon) as it changes (melts). They then mix combinations of everyday substances to observe chemical changes.

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

    Lab: What's the Fizz?

    In this lab, students will make a lemon fizzy drink. Students will discuss what happens when things are mixed together.

  • Observations, Density, Mixtures, Chemical Change, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Acid Base Reactions, Mixtures | Elementary School

    Lab: Analyzing a Lava Lamp

    In this lab, students create a mixture of oil, water and food coloring, and then add an Alka-Seltzer tablet, to create a homemade lava lamp. Student will record their observations during each step of the process and answer follow-up questions about the chemical and physical changes that took place.

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