Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    Activity: Analyzing & Creating Safety Labels

    In this activity, students will understand and interpret the color and number symbols on an NFPA Safety Diamond and then apply their knowledge to interpreting a label for chemicals. Students will also demonstrate an understanding of the safety precautions recommended for safe handling of specific chemicals as indicated by the diamond.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Matter, Chemical Properties, Mixtures | 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.

  • 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.

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

    Lab: Solubility Plays a Role: Making Seitan from Flour

    This lab offers insight into a practical aspect of solubility and demystifies a common ingredient, wheat flour. In this lab students will read about the composition and observe some properties of whole wheat flour by preparing seitan, a vegetarian meat substitute made from the glutenin and gliadin proteins in flour. Gluten, formed from the interaction of the aforementioned proteins, has a unique property of elasticity.

  • Physical Properties, Elements, History, Periodic Table, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | High School

    Activity: Which Element Am I?

    In this activity, students will be challenged by a list of clues that describe 50 different elements from the periodic table. Using their own knowledge, or the help of the internet students will determine the identity of each element based on the clue provided.

  • Physical Properties, Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Physical Change, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Chemical Properties, Molecular Geometry | High School

    Lesson Plan: An Exploration of Intermolecular Forces

    In this lesson students will explore intermolecular forces, and their associated effect on physical and chemical properties. Students will experiment with volatile liquids to investigate their predictions about intermolecular strength.

  • Density, Physical Properties, Periodic Table, Review, Mixtures | 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.

  • 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 | 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Mixtures | High School

    Lesson Plan: What is Paint? A Paint Investigation

    In this lesson students will investigate the components of paint. The students will research, organize, and prepare a presentation on the four main components of paint: pigments, binders, solvents, and additives. They will also propose a solution to an environmental issue caused by paint components. During the lesson, students will model how paint components interact at the molecular level.

  • Physical Properties, Concentration, Beer's Law | High School

    Lesson Plan: Introduction to Color

    In this lesson students explore the properties related to color and how those properties vary with changes in concentration. This lesson introduces the use of a spectrophotometer to measure wavelength and absorbance in colored solutions as well as the use of Beer’s Law to determine an unknown concentration.

  • Observations, Physical Properties | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Abe Goes Swimming

    In this lab, students will investigate surface tension by comparing the number of liquid drops of water and of alcohol that can be held on the surface of a penny. An optional opportunity to investigate surfactants is also provided.

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

    Lab: You Light Up My Life!

    In this lab, students will participate in a guided inquiry in which they will test different physical properties, such as conductivity and solubility of given samples. This lab can be used to introduce ionic, covalent and metallic bonds as well as their properties. This lab should help students make connections between the types of bonds, differentiate between them, as well as help to better understand the nomenclature of ionic and covalent compounds.

  • Physical Properties, Polarity, Molecular Structure | High School

    Activity: What Makes Water So Special?

    In this activity, students will become familiar with the special properties of water by completing several activities that investigate the following physical properties: cohesion, adhesion, surface tension, and capillary action.

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