Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Observations, Scientific Method | Middle School

    Lab: Which Paint is the most Cost-Effective

    In this lab, students will practice implementing the scientific method in order compare the properties of different paint samples through a variety of testing. Students will research consumer reports, hypothesize, and conduct specific tests in order to determine which brand of paint is the most cost effective.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Matter, Mixture, Chemical Properties | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Cupcake Conversions, Bench to Bakery

    This activity will help to reinforce the importance of scientific measurement and apply it to the introduction of chemical reactions. Using an example of baking a single batch of cupcakes, students will plan for a larger production scale in a commercial bakery. This will help to introduce the idea of producing a reaction at the lab bench and converting it to mass production. In addition this activity investigates how chemistry is used in everyday life and challenges students to consider potentials errors that may occur when completing chemical reactions in the kitchen.

  • Interdisciplinary, Polymers, Culminating Project | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Cleaning-up the Plastic Island

    In this lesson, students will develop an understanding of the chemistry of plastics and apply their knowledge in order to engineer a cost effective and environmentally friendly method to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

  • Physical Change, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Matter, Mixture | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Cooking with Conversions

    In this activity, students will be given a common homemade recipe for German chocolate cake with measurements in English units. They will be asked to convert the English ingredients list to metric units through scientific calculations. Students will also be asked to identify the ingredients as solid, liquid or gas. While reviewing the cooking procedures, students will classify certain steps as containing compounds or mixtures as well as identify whether chemical or physical changes are taking place. The culinary chemistry involved in this lesson should be introduced throughout the activity.

  • Physical Properties, History, Lab Safety, Chemical Properties | High School, Middle School

    Project: Chemical Disasters: Good Chemicals gone Bad!

    In this project, students will research an industrial chemical accident. They will examine the chemicals involved including uses, hazards, chemical and physical properties. Students will investigate the cause of the accident and its repercussions. As the final product, they will film a 5-minute documentary which will be viewed in class.

  • 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, History, Periodic Table | High School, Middle School

    Activity: The Disappearing Spoon Reading Questions

    In this activity, students will read a series of passages from the young readers edition of The Disappearing Spoon that are related to the elements in the AACT video series

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

    Activity: The Disappearing Spoon Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch videos from the AACT original video series, Sam Kean’s Disappearing Spoon. While watching a video, students will answer several questions related to the particular element of focus.

  • Elements, Periodic Table, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Periodic Table Connect The Dots

    In this activity, students solve a series of clues about elements in order to uncover a message that has been hidden in the periodic table. Using the clues, students draw lines between identified elements on the table, which then connect to form the message. Two versions of this activity are available, varying the difficulty level of the clues.

  • 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.

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

    Activity: The Frontiers of Chemistry: Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about several exciting scientific developments, including solar cells, 3D printing and micro machines. This video will help students understand that fundamental chemistry concepts are essential to the advancement of science and technology.

  • 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, Physical Properties, Periodic Table, Review, Mixture | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Chemistry Basics: Advanced Crossword Puzzle

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

  • 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, pH, Acid Base Reactions, Chemical Change | High School, Middle School

    Lab: How do Sinkholes Form?

    In this lab students will learn how acidic groundwater reacts with limestone, causing it to erode. Sinkholes form when eroded limestone underneath the surface of the earth can no longer support the ground above it. Students will test how acid reacts with a variety of rocks and determine which rocks would be best to build a city on top of in order to reduce the chance of sinkholes forming.

  • Review, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Dimensional Analysis Show Down

    In this activity students will work cooperatively to solve conversion based problems using dimensional analysis. Students are required to independently determine an answer for each question and be able explain their method of solving with their peers. This activity is designed to allow students to work at their own pace, and for students to take on a teaching role by communicating their understanding with their peers.

  • 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.

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

    Activity: Acid & Base Guys Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video about the history of acids and bases. They will learn about the evolution of these theories, from Lavoisier to Arrhenius, Bronsted-Lowry, and Lewis.

  • Observations, History, Conservation of Mass, Measurements, SI Units | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Lavoisier Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video about Antoine Lavoisier, who many consider to be the father of modern chemistry. They will answer questions as they learn about oxygen, hydrogen, and the first proposal of the Law of the Conservation of Mass.

  • 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.

  • Gas Laws, Pressure, History, Volume | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Robert Boyle Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer questions about Robert Boyle. They will learn about his impact in chemistry, including Boyle’s Law which describes the relationship between pressure and volume of a gas.

  • 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.

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