Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Polarity, Covalent Bonding, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Geometry, Electronegativity | High School, Middle School

    Activity: The Chemistry of Water Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about how the molecular geometry and polarity of water give rise to many of its unusual physical properties, including its relatively high boiling point and its ability to dissolve some substances but not others.

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

    Activity: What are Acids & Bases? Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about acids and bases. They will learn about characteristics of acids and bases, the pH scale, and the role of acids in biochemistry.

  • Physical Properties, Introduction, History, Periodic Table, Valence Electrons, Chemical Properties, Electrons | High School, Middle School

    Activity: How the Periodic Table Organizes the Elements Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about the organization of the periodic table. They will learn about how the elements on the periodic table are organized and what their location on the table can tell us about them.

  • Introduction, Elements, History, Review, Atoms, Isotopes, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes, Electrons | High School, Middle School

    Activity: What are Isotopes? Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about isotopes. They will learn about the discovery of isotopes, the difference between chemical and nuclear reactions, different kinds of radioactive decay, and some uses of radioactive isotopes.

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Review, Culminating Project | High School

    Activity: Chemists in the Real World

    In this activity, students will research a variety of chemistry careers to learn about job options in the field of chemistry. Students who often ask “when am I ever going to use this?!” can find some real-world examples of people who use chemistry in their jobs.

  • History | High School, Middle School

    Project: Famous Women Chemists: Snapchat Storyboard

    In this lesson, students will research female chemists and create a 6-panel ‘Snapchat’ storyboard to present the information learned.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Melting Point, Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Ionic Bonding, Ionic Radius, Ions | High School

    Activity: My Name is Bond, Ionic Bond

    In this lesson, students will demonstrate their knowledge of ionic bond strength using a “brackets” activity. Pairs of students start the activity playing a game of “Ionic Compound War” to build eight compounds. Then then transfer the compounds to a “bracket” and use their knowledge of ionic bonding, along with a solubility chart, to predict the strongest and weakest bond between four pairs of ionic substances.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Melting Point, Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Ionic Bonding, Ionic Radius, Ions | High School

    Activity: Ionic Bonding Brackets

    In this lesson, students will demonstrate their knowledge of ionic bond strength and its relationship to the properties of melting point and solubility using a “brackets” activity. After analyzing the ionic charge and radius to predict the strongest and weakest bond between four pairs of ionic substances, they will then determine which will be the least soluble.

  • Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Designing a Procedure for Product Testing

    In this activity, students will take on the role of research engineers who work for a chemical company that sells coatings for different types of surfaces.  Students are required to design a procedure for testing their common household coating to prove its durability to various types of stresses. Students will be required to create procedures that can collect both quantitative and qualitative data as well as an appropriate data table.

  • 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.

  • Physical Properties, Molecular Formula, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding | High School

    Lesson Plan: Investigating Properties of Ionic and Covalent Compounds

    In this lesson, students will use a PhET simulation in combination with Safety Data Sheets in order to analyze specific ionic and covalent substances. Students will then use the collected data in order to identify trends in the properties of similar substances.

  • 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.

  • Density, Elements, Interdisciplinary | High School

    Activity: Applying Density to Earth

    In this activity, students will analyze data related to elevation and rock composition, in order to better understand the impact that density has on earth chemistry.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • History, Periodic Table, Mole Concept | High School

    Activity: The Mole Crossword Puzzle

    In this activity, students will be challenged with clues that are related to the concept of the mole in order to complete a crossword puzzle.

  • 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.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Polarity, Physical Change, Molecular Structure, Chemical Change, Lewis Structures | High School

    Lab: DIY Triiodide

    In this lab, students will investigate how iodine interacts with various substances. They will use color changes to justify whether a chemical or physical change is taking place. This activity is referenced in the October 2019 ChemMatters article called “Cash, Chemistry, and Counterfeiting.”

  • Physical Properties, Elements, Matter, Chemical Properties, Mixtures, Alloys | High School

    Lesson Plan: Observing Properties of Those Marvelous Metals

    In this lesson, students will see how metals, both pure metals and alloys, may have different physical and chemical properties. They will investigate how these properties contribute to their usefulness in manufacturing and construction.

  • 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, 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.

  • 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.

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