Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Limiting Reactant, Stoichiometry, Balancing Equations, Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Matter, Combustion, Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Matter | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Animation Activity: Limiting Reactant

    In this activity, students will use an animation to visualize on the particulate level what happens in a limiting reactant problem. Assembling a bike is used as an analogy to introduce the concept of limiting reactant, and then the balanced equation of the combustion of methane is used in four quantitative examples to show what it means for a chemical to be a limiting reactant. The concept of the conservation of mass is also demonstrated by calculating masses from the mole quantities of the reactants and products.

  • Density, Graphing | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: You Are My Density

    In this lab, students will collect and plot both volume and mass data in order to better understand density as a constant by using the line of best fit. They will then model and analyze a perplexing situation involving density to consider the application of density in everyday life.

  • Colligative Properties, Boiling Point Elevation, Freezing Point Depression, Concentration, Solute & Solvent, Boiling Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Molecular Motion, Graphing, Physical Properties, Heat, Temperature | High School

    Simulation: Colligative Properties

    In this simulation, students will investigate the effects of different solutes, and different amounts of those solutes, on the boiling point and freezing point of a solution. Students will see particle-level animations of boiling and freezing with different types and amounts of solutes, as well as graphical representations of the results of each trial.

  • Colligative Properties, Boiling Point Elevation, Freezing Point Depression, Concentration, Solute & Solvent, Boiling Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Molecular Motion, Graphing, Physical Properties, Heat, Temperature | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Simulation Activity: The Effect of Solutes on Boiling and Freezing Point

    In this activity, students will use a colligative properties simulation to investigate the effects of different solutes, and different amounts of those solutes, on the boiling point and freezing point of a solution. Students will see particle-level animations of boiling and freezing with different types and amounts of solutes, as well as graphical representations of the results of each trial.

  • Measurements, SI Units, Dimensional Analysis, Scientific Notation, Molecular Structure , Elements, History, Interdisciplinary | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Discovery of Fullerenes

    In this lesson, students will learn about a class of compounds called fullerenes through a reading about their discovery. Metric conversions, organic chemistry, and allotropes are all touched on in this lesson. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Interdisciplinary, Polymers | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Puzzling, Twisted Fibers

    In this activity, students will attempt to solve clues related to the chemistry of fabrics. Starting at the center of the maze, students will fill in each word suggested by the 20 given clues. Answering each clue correctly will help students solve the riddle provided at the end of the activity. This puzzle can be used in the classroom as part of the Fabulous Fibers theme celebration for 2022 National Chemistry Week.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Intramolecular Forces, Polymers, History, Interdisciplinary | High School

    Lesson Plan: Scotch Transparent Tape

    In this lesson, students will learn about how sticky tape was developed through reading an article. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Polymers, Condensation, Monomer, Monomer, Alloys | High School

    Lesson Plan: Synthetic Materials Through History

    In this lesson, students will learn about the history of synthesized materials through reading an article. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Interdisciplinary, History, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School

    Lesson Plan: Isolation of Phytochrome

    In this lesson, students will learn about plant cycles of development in relation to the electromagnetic spectrum through reading an article. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Measurements, SI Units, Physical Properties, Observations | High School

    Lesson Plan: Setting the Standards of Excellence

    In this lesson, students will learn about standards through a reading about the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is the U.S. body that defines standards. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Elements, History, Chemical Properties, Physical Properties, Identifying an Unknown, Ionic Bonding, Naming Compounds | High School

    Lesson Plan: Joseph Priestley, Discoverer of Oxygen

    In this lesson, students will read an article to learn about the discovery and identification of gases, specifically oxygen by Joseph Priestley. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Interdisciplinary, History, Solubility, Concentration | High School

    Lesson Plan: Legacy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

    In this lesson, students will read an article to learn about the impact Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring has had. Arguably, the U.S. EPA was formed as a result, and a Nobel Prize-worthy discovery was banned after the book was published. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher since most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Electromagnetic Spectrum, Heat, Radiation, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, History, Interdisciplinary, Functional Groups, Molecular Structure | High School

    Lesson Plan: Mars Exploration with Infrared Spectrometers

    In this lesson, students will learn about how space scientists used infrared spectrometers to explore Mars through an article reading. Space exploration involves a lot of chemistry, which many students are surprised to learn. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Pharmaceuticals, Molecular Structure , History | High School

    Lesson Plan: Discovery of Ivermectin: Preventing Blindness and Heartworm

    In this lesson, students will learn about the drug ivermectin by reading about the chemistry behind its discovery and applications. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher since most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Molecular Structure , Covalent Bonding, History | High School

    Lesson Plan: Steroid Medicines: A Profile of Chemical Innovation

    In this lesson, students will learn about developing medicine through the lens of hydrocortisone while reading an article. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Half Lives, History | High School

    Lesson Plan: Radiocarbon Dating and Willard Libby

    In this lesson, students will learn about the development and application of radiocarbon dating through an article reading. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Heat, Boiling Point, History | High School

    Lesson Plan: Norbert Rillieux, Thermodynamics and Chemical Engineering

    In this lesson, students will learn about thermodynamics through a historical story of a budding Black chemical engineer named Norbert Rillieux. He is credited with creating the process for isolating sugar crystals from sugarcane because of his keen understanding of thermodynamics. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided. Rillieux’s story is interesting from a diversity standpoint. He was a free biracial scientist living in the South during pre-Civil War times. This story provides an opportunity to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in the chemistry classroom.

  • Interdisciplinary, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Molecular Structure, Chemical Bond, Radiation | High School

    Lesson Plan: Chlorofluorocarbons and Ozone Depletion

    In this lesson, students will learn about the history of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and the harm they cause the ozone layer through an article reading. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Ionic Bonding, Covalent Bonding, Naming Compounds, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups, Polyatomic Ions, History | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Development of Baking Powder

    In this lesson, students will learn about the chemistry behind baking powder through reading about its history and development over time. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Periodic Table, Elements, History, Atomic Mass, Atomic Theory, Isotopes, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Periodic Table and Transuranium Elements

    In this lesson, students will learn about the transuranium elements through reading about some of their discoveries. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Alloys, Molecular Structure, Physical Properties | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Chemistry of Art through Alloys and Metal Plating

    In this lab, students will learn about and experiment with the process of electroless chemical plating in order to create a piece of artwork made from a combination of copper, zinc-plated copper, and brass.

  • Metallic Bonding, Physical Properties, Physical Change | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Molding Metal

    In this lab, students cast tin into molds and observe physical changes of metals while creating an ornament. They will apply their knowledge of metallic bonding to analyze and explain their observations.

  • Physical Properties, Heat, Alloys | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Investigating Heat Treatments and Properties of Steel

    In this lab, students will take on the perspective of a material scientist working for a company that makes shocks and struts for car suspension by applying three different heat treatments to steel coils. Students will test how these heat treatments affect the properties of the high carbon steel.

  • Review, Periodic Table | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Sudoku by the (Chemical) Numbers

    In this activity, students will first answer clues about fundamental chemistry concepts in order to determine the missing digits from a sudoku puzzle. After solving the clues, students must then use both logic and reasoning while following the rules of sudoku to solve the 9x9 puzzle.

  • Atoms, Model of the Atom, Atomic Theory, Matter, Elements, History, Introduction, Periodic Table | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Animation: Atoms: The Building Blocks of Matter Animation

    In this animation, students will be introduced to the idea that everything is made of atoms, and that since atoms are so extremely small, even small objects contain vast numbers of atoms. They will see several examples to illustrate this point. Then they will be given a brief overview of the evolution of how people thought about atoms from the ancient Greeks through Dalton.

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