Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • 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.

  • Observations, Density, Physical Properties | Elementary School

    Lab: Under the Sea: A Density Aquarium!

    In this lab, students will create a density aquarium. They will develop a written response comparing and contrasting the densities of the various objects within the aquarium. This lab is designed for students to work in groups after they have an understanding of density and other physical properties.

  • Density, Concentration, Solute & Solvent | High School

    Lab: Test Tube Challenge

    In this lab, students will be challenged to create a density column, consisting of three distinct layers of sugar-water solution. This is an inquiry lab, where the students must apply their understanding of density and concentration in order to devise a successful plan for creating the column correctly.

  • Density, Measurements | Elementary School

    Demonstration: Sinking Soda

    In this teacher led demonstration, students will compare their observations when unopened cans of diet and regular soda are placed in a large container of water. They will use their observations to help differentiate between several fundamental chemistry concepts: mass, volume, and density.

  • Density, Identifying an Unknown, Measurements | Middle School, Elementary School

    Demonstration: Household Densities

    In this demonstration, students will make predictions about various household materials and whether or not each will sink or float when placed in water. Data will be collected and then used to calculate the density value of each item. Finally students will analyze the relationship between the density value and the observed outcome, and use their knowledge to identify unknown materials.

  • 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.

  • Density, Chemical Change, Elements, Physical Change, Periodic Table, Review, Matter, Mixture | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Chemistry Basics: Crossword Puzzle

    In this activity, students will complete a crossword puzzle by solving each clue that is related to a basic, yet fundamental chemistry topic.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Density, Mixtures, Solubility | Middle School

    Lab: Investigating Density within Lava Lamps

    In this lab students will make a simple yet spectacular lava lamp while focusing on the density of the components.

  • Density, Identifying an Unknown, Mole Concept, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Molar Mass | High School

    Lab: Chemistry Composition Challenge

    In this inquiry based lab, students will design a method to solve three chemistry problems involving moles, molecules, and density.

  • Density, Temperature, Density, Molecular Motion | Elementary School

    Lab: Observing Density of Gases and Liquids

    Students will learn about and discuss the behavior of a gas using examples of convection and an optional teacher-led demonstration. Students will then participation in a lab where they will investigate water currents by observing the results of mixing colored warm water with room temperature water. The lab will be followed by a discussion about the molecular activity of the water mixture.

  • Density, Phase Changes | Elementary School

    Lab: Making Clouds

    In this lab students will investigate liquid density by creating model “clouds” with shaving cream in a glass of water. They will add food coloring in order to make the clouds heavy and cause them to rain.

  • Density, Measurements | High School

    Lab: Can it Float?

    In this lab, students will investigate the relationships between mass, volume, density and buoyancy in common objects. Students will be tasked with determining the volume of a variety of objects as well as interpreting the meaning of their buoyancy in water.

  • Density, Measurements | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lab: Weight Just a Minute!

    In this lab, students will learn how volume and mass affect density as they make comparisons and calculations.

  • Separating Mixtures, Density, Physical Properties, Phase Changes, Interdisciplinary, Culminating Project, Matter | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: The Castaway!

    In this activity, students use their knowledge of the properties of matter to create and/or design items needed for survival on a deserted island.

  • Density, Physical Properties, Interdisciplinary, Matter, Chemical Properties | Elementary School, Middle School

    Activity: Astronaut on a Mission

    In this activity students will take on the role as a NASA employee on a mission to discover what resources humans need in order to survive on a planet outside of our solar system. Students will come up with a plan including a list of materials and resources needed to sustain life on another planet. They will need to compare each planet and determine which is most ready to support life.

  • Observations, Density, Physical Properties | Elementary School

    Demonstration: Will it Float?

    In this demonstration, students will observe the relationship between the density of a solution and its impact on an object’s ability to float or sink. Uncooked eggs will be placed in a tap water sample and in a salt water solution so that students can make observations and compare the results in order to make a determination regarding the density value for each item.

  • Observations, Density, Physical Properties, Matter | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lab: Comparing Density of Liquids & Irregular Solids

    In this lab, students will measure mass and volume, calculate density, and compare the density of given liquids and solids, inferring what causes objects to sink or float in a given liquid. 3-48

  • Density, Percent Composition, Accuracy, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, SI Units | High School

    Lesson Plan: Chemical Measurement Unit Plan

    The AACT High School Classroom Resource library has everything you need to put together a unit plan for your classroom: lessons, activities, labs, projects, videos, simulations, and animations. We constructed a unit plan for introducing concepts student need to collect and use chemical measurements: Percent Composition, Metric Units, Accuracy and Precision, Percent Error, Density, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, and Unit Conversion. This unit is designed to be used at beginning of the school year and modified based on student math abilities.

  • Density, Accuracy, Measurements, Significant Figures | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Significant Figures and Lab Data

    In this lesson, students will use laboratory equipment of different precision to collect data for several different metals, and then use the data to calculate the density of each. They will then compare their calculated densities to accepted values and determine the combination of equipment that leads to the most accurate calculation of density.

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

    Activity: Discovery Tubes

    This is a fun, visual activity for young students. It allows for understanding of fundamental chemistry topics, including mixtures, miscibility, density and viscosity while analyzing a handheld colorful toy.

  • Density, Physical Properties, Measurements, Matter | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Animation: Density Animation

    "In this animation, students will visualize density on the particulate level. There are opportunities to make qualitative and quantitative comparisons between substances. **This video has no audio**"

  • 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.

  • Density, Measurements | High School

    Lab: Investigating the Density of an Irregular Solid Object

    In this lab, students will use common laboratory equipment to devise a method to measure the density of several irregular objects. They will then create a formal laboratory report using both their own data and data from the entire class.

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