Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • 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 | High School, Middle 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 | 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.

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

    Activity: Sandbox

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

  • 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.

  • Naming Compounds, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Molecular Formula, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Chemical Bond | High School, Middle 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, Subatomic Particles, Electrons | High School, Elementary School, Middle School

    Activity: Writing Your Name using Chemical Element Symbols

    In this activity, students will use their creativity to spell their name (first or middle name and their last name) using chemical symbols of elements on the periodic table. For example, you can spell Yvonne using the symbols for yttrium (Y), vanadium (V), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), and neon (Ne).

  • 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.

  • Observations, Melting Point, Phase Changes, Introduction, Physical Change | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Let's Get Physical About Water

    In this lesson, students will learn about the phase changes of matter. During the course of two days students will perform several short experiments in order to change the state of water and they will record their observations.

  • Observations, Density, Physical Properties, Introduction, Mixture | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: What is Density

    In this two-part lesson, students will learn about density through a teacher-led demonstration and a hands-on activity. The demonstration will give students the opportunity to observe the formation of a density tower made from common drinks. Students will then create their own density tower using simple ingredients, and then further investigate differences in density when solid objects are added to the tower.

  • 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, Conservation of Mass, Balancing Equations, Conservation of Mass, Limiting Reactant | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Kinesthetic Reactions

    In this lesson students, through their physical movement, will model the law of conservation of mass during a chemical reaction. Students will also explore the concepts of limiting and excess reactants as well as balancing a chemical equation. Through this activity they also develop a means of representing particles at the molecular level.

  • 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.

  • Observations, Introduction, Elements, History, Periodic Table, Atoms, Model of the Atom, Culminating Project, Matter | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Is a Picture Worth 1000 Words?

    In this activity, students will learn about early chemistry discoveries through a textbook reading as well as from a cartoon.

  • Physical Properties, Phase Changes, Introduction, Molecular Motion, Matter | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Introducing States of Matter

    In this lesson, students will investigate particle behavior in different forms of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Students will have an opportunity to examine a model of the particles in the different states of matter and will also participate in a kinesthetic demonstration of matter. They will also learn what makes the states of matter different from one another when changing from one form to another.

  • Introduction | 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, Density, Physical Properties, Introduction | Elementary School

    Activity: Sink or Float

    In this activity, students investigate whether certain materials will sink or float in water. Students will also explore how the shape of an object can affect its volume and density.

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary | 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.

  • Physical Properties, Introduction, Matter, Chemical Properties | Elementary School

    Activity: Properties of Matter

    In this activity, students will focus on the properties of matter and distinguish matter by their physical properties

  • Introduction | 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.

  • Observations, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Scientific Method | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Engineering Project

    In this activity, students work together in a small team in order to solve a problem and achieve a common goal. Students will need to work collaboratively in order to be successful. They will be required to communicate their ideas both verbally and in written form, assign duties, design and carry out a procedure in this activity. They will also be challenged with problem solving when/if their original plan fails.

  • Introduction, Elements, Periodic Table | Middle School, High 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, Elements, Periodic Table, Atoms, Model of the Atom, Electrons | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Periodic Puzzler

    In this activity, students will learn about what makes up an atom and how important protons are in the placement of elements on the periodic table.

  • Introduction | 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.

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