Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Separating Mixtures, Density, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Phase Changes, Introduction, Elements, Physical Change, History, Lab Safety, Molecular Motion, Accuracy, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, SI Units, Chemical Properties, Mixtures | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Chemistry Basics and Measurement Quick Start Unit Plan

    This Quick Start Unit Plan includes all the materials that a teacher will need for the first 10 class meetings of the school year. Each day is outlined with teacher notes, and includes slide presentations as well as directions for demonstrations, activities and labs to use. The fundamental topics covered in the 10 days of lessons are: laboratory safety, laboratory equipment, experimental design, classification of matter, chemical properties, physical properties, chemical change, physical change, phase changes, separation techniques, dimensional analysis, unit conversions, factor label method, accuracy, precision, significant figures, and percent error calculations. This Quick Start Unit plan aims to help students to build a foundation of understanding, and master important topics before moving deeper into the chemistry curriculum.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Chemical Properties | High School

    Lab: Determining Physical and Chemical Properties

    In this lab, students will determine the physical and chemical properties of several different substances through testing and observation. Additionally, they will further their understanding of chemical and physical changes, and their ability to recognize each type of change.

  • Physical Properties, Intermolecular Forces, Elements, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Polymers, Matter, Chemical Properties | Middle School, High School

    Project: The Chemistry of Toys

    In this project, students will study the chemistry behind a toy or novelty item of their choosing. They will look at the parts that make up their item and determine what materials each part is made of; the types of atoms, molecules, and bonds present in those materials; and their physical and chemical properties.

  • Molecular Structure, Chemical Properties | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Chemistry of Vaccines

    In this lesson, students will read the article, Can a Vaccine End the Pandemic? by Wynne Parry from the December 2020 edition of ChemMatters magazine. Students will answer questions based on the content of the article and also have the opportunity to do additional research. Finally, they will create a podcast discussing the chemistry of vaccines.

  • Density, Physical Properties, Inferences, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Chemical Properties | High School

    Lesson Plan: Murder Mystery

    In this lesson, students will use their knowledge of the properties of ionic and covalent compounds to examine the evidence from a crime scene. Students will conduct several tests, and compare their data with known data in a collection of SDS documents. Using the evidence from their investigation, students will write a claim, evidence and reasoning statement detailing whether the victim was murdered or died accidentally.

  • Density, Polymers, Polymers, Chemical Properties | High School

    Lab: The Big Six Plastics

    In this lab students will use data and chemical tests to better understand different types of plastics and their properties. Ultimately, students can choose the best plastic material to construct a compost bin.

  • Physical Properties, Interdisciplinary, Chemical Properties | High School

    Project: Working for NASA

    In this project, students will take on the role of a NASA employee on a mission to discover what resources humans need in order to survive on another planet inside of our solar system as well as an exoplanet outside of our solar system. Students will research the materials and resources needed to sustain life on Earth and compare these to another planet and exoplanet to determine if they can possibly be habitable and sustain life.

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

  • 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, Lab Safety, Chemical Properties | Middle School, High 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 | Middle School, High 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 | Elementary School, Middle School, High 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.

  • Physical Properties, Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Interdisciplinary, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Culminating Project, Molecular Structure, Chemical Properties, Metallic Bonding, Intramolecular Forces | High School

    Project: Problem-Solving with Materials

    In this project, students will develop a presentation to explain how and why a specific material can solve a problem. The explanation will involve researching the properties of the material and how its properties are suited for solving a specific problem.

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

  • 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 | Elementary School, Middle School, High 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 | Elementary School, Middle School, High 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, 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, Molecular Formula, History, Covalent Bonding, Molecular Structure, Chemical Properties | High School

    Activity: Molecule of the Week

    In this activity, students research and present a molecule they find relevant to real life, either in the past or present. They must submit notes to the teacher the day before they present their findings in five to 10 minutes to their chemistry class.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Introduction, Elements, History, Periodic Table, Chemical Properties | High School

    Lesson Plan: What is Chemistry?

    In this lesson, students watch a video narrated by Bill Nye, and then complete a SOMA cube to enhance their perspective in the process of discovery.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Mixtures, Interdisciplinary, History, Chemical Properties | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Top Secret

    In this lab, students will learn about the history of invisible ink and will have the opportunity to compare two types of homemade invisible ink recipes.

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Grade Level: High School

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