Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Physical Properties, Concentration, Chemical Properties, pH | Middle School

    Activity: Would You Drink it?

    In this activity, students are provided with data regarding the water quality at multiple locations throughout a city. Students will determine which location should be prioritized for cleaning of contaminates. Students will utilize Claim Evidence and Reasoning (CER) to develop a claim that is supported by the data provided.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Inferences, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School, Middle School

    Demonstration: What Causes Yeast to Ferment?

    In this lesson, students will observe and verify molasses sugar content as a result of its ability to ferment yeast. They will compare how molasses allows yeast to ferment with other sugar solutions as well as a sugar-free solution.

  • 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.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Color Matching Paint Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about how technology, specifically focusing on spectrophotometry, can be used for paint matching. During the video, students will learn how the spectrophotometer interacts with the spectrum of visible light in order to match or reproduce specific paint colors.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Animation: Classifying Matter Animation

    In this animation, students will become familiar with definitions and examples of several broad classifications of matter, including pure substances (elements and compounds) and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous). Students will be given real-life examples as well as particle diagrams.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Animation Activity: Classifying Matter

    In this animation, students will become familiar with definitions and examples of several broad classifications of matter, including pure substances (elements and compounds) and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous). Students will be given real-life examples as well as particle diagrams.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Elements, Compounds, & Mixtures - Oh My!

    In this activity, students will define terms related to various kinds of pure substances and mixtures, as well as analyze and draw particle diagrams.

  • 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.

  • Density, Elements, Periodic Table, Atomic Mass, Atomic Radius, Electronegativity | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Organizing the Periodic Table

    In this activity, students are challenged to organize elements into the shape of the periodic table based on trends in data. Students are given a set of cards, each card representing an element, and containing five data points for consideration. The data that students will analyze includes atomic mass, atomic radius, melting point, density and electronegativity.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Molecular Structure | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Determining a Chemical or Physical Change

    In this lab, students will follow a laboratory procedure that instructs them how to heat a small sample of copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate. Students will make observations in order to determine if a chemical or physical change occurs.

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

    Video: Frontiers of Chemistry

    This video explores new scientific developments that were made possible by the application of fundamental chemistry concepts. Students will learn about exciting advances in science and technology focused on three main topics: Solar Cells, 3D Printing and Micro Machines.

  • Physical Properties, Elements, Chemical Bond, Chemical Properties, Alloys | Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Behind the Metal

    In this lesson, students will learn about the properties of metals. The students will work in small groups to create a video to anthropomorphize their selected metal as though it were a heavy metal musician and share the video with their peers.

  • Observations, Density | Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Understanding Density

    In this lesson, students will explain phenomena using their knowledge of how changes in mass and volume can affect the density of an object.

  • Physical Properties, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Structure | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Structure Matters

    In this lesson, students will explore the atomic level structure of various elements and compounds to determine how arrangement of atoms at the microscopic level affects macroscopic material properties.

  • Interdisciplinary, Heat, Temperature, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Graphing, Radiation, Experimental Design | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: The Ozone Layer

    In this lesson, students will develop an explanation for the consequences of ozone depletion on Earth by planning and carrying out an investigation. Students will use analysis and interpretation of data to develop a model to explain the cause and effect of Ozone depletion on the planet Earth.

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

    Lesson Plan: Lab Safety and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

    In this lesson, students will identify various safe lab practices with a focus on the importance of labeling and knowing the background safety information for all reagents used in a lab. Students will design a series of tests to determine the identity of an unknown substance using properties found on safety data sheets.

  • Density, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Chemical Properties, Graphing, Alloys | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: The Captivating Chemistry of Coins

    In this lesson, students will develop a better understanding of physical and chemical properties of matter by comparing the composition of different pennies. This is done by determining the density of different pennies which will be compared to the density of different metals.

  • 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.

  • Interdisciplinary, History, Review | High School, Middle School

    Project: Create a Chemistry App

    In this project, students will use Google accounts to create chemistry-themed apps, with no programming required. They will create a Google Drive spreadsheet containing scientific information, and link it to a free account on Glideapps.com. They will personalize the app on the Glideapps website. The resulting app will be available to view on devices that have the correct link.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Lab Safety, You're Fired!

    In this activity, students will read an account of a laboratory tour which details numerous safety infractions. They will be charged with identifying the safety violations and determining which scientist working in the lab should be fired. This activity is designed to be used after both lab safety and Claim, Evidence, Reasoning framework has been introduced.

  • Elements, Periodic Table | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Lucky Seven

    In this activity, students will use the periodic table and the clues provided to identify element names. Students will then attempt to find the element names that are hidden n the puzzle.

  • 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.

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