Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lab Safety | High School

    Activity: The Essentials for Survival

    In this activity, the students will be introduced to and explore different lab equipment, model appropriate group work and class discussions, and practice writing efficient Claim-Evidence-Reasoning reports. This is an introductory activity for use in a general education chemistry class.

  • Separating Mixtures, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Introduction, Physical Change, History, Lab Safety, Measurements, Significant Figures, SI Units, Chemical Properties | High School

    Lesson Plan: Chemistry Basics Unit Plan

    The AACT High School Classroom Resource library and multimedia collection has everything you need to put together a unit plan for your classroom: lessons, activities, labs, projects, videos, simulations, and animations. We searched through our resource library and constructed a unit plan for introducing the basic chemistry concepts to students: Laboratory Safety, Equipment, and Reports, Periodic Table Basics, Physical and Chemical Properties and Changes, Endothermic and Exothermic Changes, and Classification of Matter. These topics are very important for your students to master before they dig into other chemistry concepts. This unit is designed to be used at beginning of the school year.

  • Physical Properties, History, Covalent Bonding, Polymers, Culminating Project, VSEPR Theory, Chemical Properties, Chemical Structure | High School

    Project: The Evolution of Materials Science in Everyday Products

    In this project, students will be able to understand the progression of development of an everyday product and display their knowledge through a creative video. They will investigate the history and chemical composition of the product through the present day. The students will then suggest an innovation about how the product can be altered in the future to improve society.

  • Density, Phase Changes, Specific Heat, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Lab: Chemistry is Cooler Stress Test Challenge

    In this lab, students will design and build a device capable of insulating an ice cube submerged in boiling water for two minutes. In this open-ended inquiry based activity, students will be required to critically think about structure and function of the materials they wish to use to build a device to solve a complex real-world problem. Students must consider the thermal properties of the materials, density, and the need to form a non-permeable barrier between the ice cube and the boiling water.

  • Density, Molecular Motion | High School, Middle School

    Simulation: Density Simulation

    In this simulation, students will investigate the effect of changing variables on both the volume and the density of a solid, a liquid and a gas sample. Students will analyze the different states of matter at the particle level as well as quantitatively. This lesson accompanies the simulation from the September 2015 issue of Chemistry Solutions.

  • 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, Atomic Number | 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.

  • History, Mole Concept, Measurements | High School

    Activity: Avogadro Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video about Amedeo Avogadro and answer related questions. They will learn that he is the scientist given credit for the mole concept and that he also made several other discoveries in chemistry.

  • 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, 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

  • 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.

  • History, Model of the Atom, Atomic Theory, Subatomic Particles, Electrons, Orbitals | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Neils Bohr Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about Niels Bohr and learn how he redefined thinking about the atom and the electron. His model of the atom advanced our understanding of subatomic particles and holds an important place in the history and development of atomic theory.

  • 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.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Hazard Symbols

    In this activity, students will familiarize themselves with common hazard symbols and their meaning.

  • Physical Properties, Molecular Motion | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Categorizing States of Matter

    In this activity students will analyze both written statements and images that describe the properties of a solid, liquid or gas. Students will determine which state of matter the description best describes and categorize it accordingly.

  • Observations, Density, Measurements | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Penny Boats

    In this lab, students will explore Archimedes’ Principle and how it relates to density. Each student will be given a piece of aluminum foil and asked to design and build a boat that will hold as many pennies as possible without sinking when placed in water.

  • History, Model of the Atom, Atomic Structure, Radiation, Half Lives, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Marie Curie Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a short video and learn about Marie Curie, her Nobel Prizes, radiation experiments, and discovery of new elements.

  • Introduction, Review, Lab Safety | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Laboratory Equipment Memory Game

    In this activity, students will play a modified version of the classic Memory Game in order to help them identify common laboratory equipment by name. This activity provides an opportunity for students to increase their familiarity with the laboratory equipment that they will be expected to properly use.

  • History, Model of the Atom, Atomic Theory, Subatomic Particles | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Ernest Rutherford Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video about Ernest Rutherford. They will learn about his great contributions to chemistry, including his study of alpha particles and his use of the gold foil experiment. They will also find out that he won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his studies on radioactive substances.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Calorimetry, Specific Heat | High School

    Lab: The Search for a Hit and Run Suspect

    In this lab, students will determine the specific heat capacity of multiple unknown metal samples through collecting data and completing calorimetric calculations. Students will take on the role of a forensic investigator and use their results to help them determine if a suspect’s vehicle was potentially involved in a hit and run incident.

  • Atomic Spectra, Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electrons | High School

    Lab: The Case of the Contaminated Well

    In this lab, students will observe the colors produced when different metal salt solutions are heated in a flame. Students will take on the role of a forensic investigator and use their results to help them determine if collected evidence was contaminated.

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