Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Periodic Table, Elements, History, Chemical Properties, Model of the Atom, Subatomic Particles, Valence Electrons | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: The Periodic Table Turns 150 Emergency Lesson Mark as Favorite (4 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about elements, the history and organization of the periodic table, as well as the scientists who contributed to the development of the periodic table through reading the highly rated ChemMatters article, The Periodic Table Turns 150. The lesson includes several activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as an emergency lesson plan for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Electromagnetic Spectrum, Observations, Scientific Method, Experimental Design, Error Analysis, Accuracy, Chemical Properties | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Screen Your Sunscreen! Mark as Favorite (11 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn more about UV radiation, its effect on skin, and the different ways in which sunscreen protects skin. After exploring this, students will develop an investigation to assess the claims made by different sun protection products. Students will compare the effectiveness of a variety of sunscreens and/or clothing that claim to offer sun protection. The lab will be wrapped up with a CER-style report.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Chemical Properties, Solute & Solvent, Mixtures | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Local Water Analysis Mark as Favorite (16 Favorites)

    In this lab, students use simple pool test strips to collect water samples from local water sources, such as area faucets, pools, lakes, rivers, puddles, etc. They will compile all of the collected data to allow students to collectively make observations and ask testable questions. After determining a question of interest, groups of students will organize the related data, research relevant background information, form reasonable conclusions, and present their arguments.

  • Elements, History, Chemical Properties, Physical Properties, Identifying an Unknown, Ionic Bonding, Naming Compounds | High School

    Lesson Plan: Joseph Priestley, Discoverer of Oxygen Mark as Favorite (7 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will read an article to learn about the discovery and identification of gases, specifically oxygen by Joseph Priestley. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Electromagnetic Spectrum, Heat, Radiation, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, History, Interdisciplinary, Functional Groups, Molecular Structure | High School

    Lesson Plan: Mars Exploration with Infrared Spectrometers Mark as Favorite (9 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about how space scientists used infrared spectrometers to explore Mars through an article reading. Space exploration involves a lot of chemistry, which many students are surprised to learn. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Interdisciplinary, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Molecular Structure, Chemical Bond, Radiation | High School

    Lesson Plan: Chlorofluorocarbons and Ozone Depletion Mark as Favorite (10 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about the history of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and the harm they cause the ozone layer through an article reading. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Chemical Properties, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Chemical Change, Culminating Project, Mixtures, Molecular Structure | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Project: Analyze a Family Recipe Mark as Favorite (46 Favorites)

    In this project, students will select a family recipe, or a favorite recipe to investigate. They will analyze several of the ingredients in order learn more about the chemistry of each one, as well as their purpose in the recipe. Additionally, students will examine several ingredient interactions to learn more about the chemistry of cooking.

  • Heat, Temperature, Specific Heat, Law of Conservation of Energy, Enthalpy, Calorimetry, Exothermic & Endothermic, Balancing Equations, Chemical Change, Measurements, Mole Concept, Dimensional Analysis, Culminating Project, Interdisciplinary, Review, Graphing, Observations, Chemical Properties, Physical Properties | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Project: Handwarmer Design Challenge Mark as Favorite (33 Favorites)

    In this project, students will use their knowledge of thermodynamics to design a handwarmer for a manufacturing company that can maintain a temperature of 30-40°C for at least 5 minutes and is designed for the average human hand. Students will create a final product after rounds of testing and an advertising poster that summarizes the results of their testing and promotes their design.

  • Molecular Structure , Polymers, Interdisciplinary, Chemical Properties

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Video: Ingenious Video 10: Oversexed Moths are Ruining Apples for Everyone Mark as Favorite (1 Favorite)

    Codling moths may look harmless, but their larvae wreak havoc in orchards, burrowing into fruit and eating them from the inside out. Pesticides have always been the solution to the old “worm in the apple” problem, but pesticides kill all the insects in the field, even the good ones. Instead of pesticides, farmers may soon use pheromones, those scented chemical messages animals release at mating time. Spreading synthetic, species-specific pheromones keeps male codling moths from finding females to mate with. No mating means no eggs, no larvae, and no more bad apples. Scaling up agricultural pheromones has proved difficult, but innovative approaches to pheromone production (using yeast cells) and distribution (with the help of customized weather stations) are starting to make it happen.

  • Molecular Structure , Polymers, Interdisciplinary, Chemical Properties | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Ingenious: Oversexed Moths Are Ruining Apples for Everyone Video Questions Mark as Favorite (3 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video Oversexed Moths are Ruining Apples for Everyone from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates how the larvae of codling moths wreak havoc in orchards—burrowing into fruit and eating them from the inside out. Scientists are developing synthetic, species-specific pheromones as an alternative to pesticides. Pheromones are scented chemical messages that animals release at mating time and can help to prevent male codling moths from finding females to mate with. No mating means no eggs, no larvae and no more bad apples!

  • Identifying an Unknown, Observations, Physical Change, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Chemical Properties, Solubility, Precipitate, Indicators | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Using Qualitative Analysis to Identify Household Compounds Mark as Favorite (54 Favorites)

    In this lab, students will be introduced to common laboratory techniques, safety procedures, lab reagents, and terminology, all while identifying unknown household substances. Students will learn how to use qualitative analysis techniques as a systematic way to identify unknown materials. As part of this process, they will practice careful observation and documentation, as well as identifying relevant physical and chemical properties and changes, including solubility, color change, gas formation, and precipitation of solids.

  • pH, Indicators, Chemical Properties, Physical Properties, Identifying an Unknown | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Pigment pH Puzzles Mark as Favorite (18 Favorites)

    In this lab, students will use their scientific detective skills to determine the identity of pigments used in various types of pH test strips based on how they each interact with several solutions of different pH values.

  • Lab Safety, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Interdisciplinary, Heat, Temperature, Polymers, Polymers | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Ingenious: This Sandwich Will Save Your Life in an Arc Flash Video Questions Mark as Favorite (8 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video, This Sandwich will Save your life in an Arc Flash, from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates the composite fabrics that protect lives of many people, like industrial workers, firefighters, and soldiers. When these workers encounter a fiery situation, they rely on protective clothing, designed using multiple layers of chemistry, to keep them safe.

  • Lab Safety, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Interdisciplinary, Heat, Temperature, Polymers, Molecular Structure | High School

    Video: Ingenious Video 3: This Sandwich Will Save Your Life in an Arc Flash Mark as Favorite (3 Favorites)

    It’s never fun when your clothes catch on fire. And while “stop, drop, and roll” may be a good idea sometimes, in more extreme cases, you need a better plan. Every day, industrial workers, firefighters, and soldiers risk fiery situations that might seem hard to imagine. In an arc flash event, for one, temperatures can jump to metal-melting levels in milliseconds. How can anyone possibly survive that? Well, take a tip from a club sandwich, because it’s all about the layers. The composite fabrics that protect life and limb in these situations rely on some incredible, multilayered chemistry, including the ability to quickly form a protective carbonaceous crust around the wearer.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: ACS Chemical Safety Video Questions Mark as Favorite (11 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will learn about safety, a core value of chemistry, through watching related videos produced by the American Chemical Society, Students will complete guided notes and questions during the activity. This chemical safety video series includes five videos: Safety Mindset, Safety Data Sheets, How to Dress for the Lab, and PPE, Preparing for Emergencies, and RAMP (Recognize hazards, Assess risks, Minimize risks, Prepare for emergencies).

  • Identifying an Unknown, Experimental Design, Chemical Properties, Physical Properties, Observations, Polyatomic Ions, Chemical Change, Ionic Bonding, Covalent Bonding, Solubility | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Determining the Composition of Bridge Straw Stalactites Mark as Favorite (8 Favorites)

    In this lab, students will investigate “straws” that hang from a local bridge, and then determine various tests that can help to determine their chemical composition. Evaluating both the test results, as well as given information students will then make a claim about the composition, while providing evidence and supporting it with reasoning.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: The Chemistry Basics and Measurement Quick Start Unit Plan Mark as Favorite (142 Favorites)

    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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: Determining Physical and Chemical Properties Mark as Favorite (36 Favorites)

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Project: The Chemistry of Toys Mark as Favorite (22 Favorites)

    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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: The Chemistry of Vaccines Mark as Favorite (39 Favorites)

    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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lesson Plan: Murder Mystery Mark as Favorite (130 Favorites)

    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, Chemical Properties, Polymers, Polymers | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab: The Big Six Plastics Mark as Favorite (20 Favorites)

    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, Chemical Properties, Interdisciplinary | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Project: Working for NASA Mark as Favorite (15 Favorites)

    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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: How the Periodic Table Organizes the Elements Video Questions Mark as Favorite (66 Favorites)

    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.

  • Concentration, Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, pH | Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Would You Drink it? Mark as Favorite (24 Favorites)

    In this activity, students are provided with data regarding the water quality at multiple locations throughout a city. Students will determine which location should be prioritized for cleaning of contaminates. Students will utilize Claim Evidence and Reasoning (CER) to develop a claim that is supported by the data provided.

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