Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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

    Activity: Laboratory Equipment Bingo

    In this activity, students will play a Bingo game, crossing out the names of laboratory equipment on their Bingo card that corresponds to the pictures of equipment shown by the teacher. This will help students to identify common equipment found in a chemistry lab.

  • Introduction, Lab Safety | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: ACS Chemical Safety Video: RAMP

    In this lesson, students will learn about a simple yet powerful tool for protecting themselves and their classmates in the lab, RAMP. It stands for: Recognize hazards; Assess risks; Minimize risks and Prepare for emergencies. Using a video, and multiple activities, students will become more knowledgeable and better prepared to assess risks and identify hazards in the lab.

  • 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.

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

  • Renewable Energy, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Heat, Molecular Structure | Middle School, High 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.

  • Introduction, Elements, Periodic Table, Temperature | High School

    Activity: An Element Fill-In Puzzle

    In this activity, students will solve a puzzle by using element symbols from the periodic table to fill-in missing letters in familiar chemistry terms related to energy and thermodynamics.

  • Renewable Energy, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Heat | Middle School, High School

    Activity: The Frontiers of Chemistry: Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about several exciting scientific developments, including solar cells, 3D printing and micro machines. This video will help students understand that fundamental chemistry concepts are essential to the advancement of science and technology.

  • 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.

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

  • Observations, Separating Mixtures, Physical Properties, Introduction, Matter, Mixtures | Elementary School

    Activity: Sandbox

    In this activity the students will separate a mixture and classify objects by their physical properties.

  • Naming Compounds, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Molecular Formula, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Chemical Bond | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Modeling Carbohydrates

    In this activity, students will identify that organic compounds contain carbon and other elements such as hydrogen and oxygen. They will investigate the structure of different organic and inorganic compounds and model several molecules, including a carbohydrate molecule. They will use their models to help understand how larger molecules are broken down into smaller molecules.

  • Introduction, Elements, History, Periodic Table, Atoms, Valence Electrons, Subatomic Particles, Electrons | Middle School

    Project: Elemental Art: A Visual Periodic Table

    In this activity students will research an assigned element of the Periodic Table and then create a poster that visually explains and expresses the element. The final posters can be arranged into a classroom Periodic Table.

  • Density, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Accuracy, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, Accuracy, Error Analysis, Error Analysis | High School

    Lab: Math and Measurement

    In this lab, students will practice introductory math skills that will be used in chemistry all year. This includes metric conversion, significant figures, scientific notation, dimensional analysis, density, percent error, accuracy and precision, as well as using lab equipment.

  • Introduction, Accuracy, Measurements, SI Units | High School

    Activity: Mysteriously Melodramatic & Maniacal Metric Measurements

    In this activity, students predict the measurements of objects using metric units. They then take the actual measurements and compare them to their predictions.

  • Introduction, Elements, Periodic Table, Identifying an Unknown | High School

    Activity: Make a Periodic Table

    In this activity students use imaginary elements to create a periodic table based on the known properties of those elements.

  • Introduction, Elements, History, Periodic Table | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Element Skit

    In this activity, students will become familiar with the periodic table by creating a skit to explain an element’s symbol, atomic number, and atomic mass.

  • Introduction, Periodic Table, Identifying an Unknown | High School

    Activity: Aliens Activity

    In this activity, students organize alien cards into groups and periods following trends, similar to how the periodic table is put together.

  • Introduction, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School

    Activity: Procedure Pictures

    In this activity students are put into groups of 2 – 3 and are then charged with developing a procedure to investigate a provided “fact or fiction” statement. The twist to this task is that they are not allowed to use words; their entire procedure must be represented in pictures. This idea is based on the recent “Can You Picture That?” article by Julie Damico in the February 2014 edition of The Science Teacher magazine.

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School

    Activity: Experimental Design using Science and Engineering Practices

    In this activity, students will read a short story about an experiment that was conducted about an everyday question. Then the student will decide if and how the experimenter followed the scientific method. Then they will consider their own everyday questions and propose a way to answer them experimentally.

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Scientific Method | High School

    Activity: Write the Methods Section

    In this activity, students will learn how to write and think like a scientist when they complete their lab write ups.

  • Introduction, Scientific Method | High School

    Activity: Chemistry Fact vs Fiction

    In this activity, students will read a short article, view a video, and discuss why they believe the article and video are or are not reliable sources of information. Students will then perform a basic laboratory experiment implementing the steps of the Scientific Method.

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary | High School

    Lesson Plan: How To Write a Formal Lab

    In this lesson, students learn how to put the parts of a formal lab write up together.

  • 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.

  • Introduction, Culminating Project | High School

    Activity: Toy Project

    In this project, students will develop a toy or elementary school project into an inquiry demonstration suitable for a high school chemistry class.

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