Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics
1 – 25 of 159 Classroom Resources
Physical Change, Chemical Change, Observations, Chemical Change, Radioactive Isotopes | High School
Activity: Physical, Chemical and Nuclear Changes
In this activity, students will analyze the representation of physical, chemical, and nuclear changes in four ways: submicroscopic (particle diagrams), symbolic (equations), macroscopic (observations), and linguistic (vocabulary words). This self-guided activity is designed to ensure that students internalize fundamental chemistry concepts that will serve as a meaningful basis for future learning about matter and its changes.
History, Observations, Identifying an Unknown, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups | High School
Lesson Plan: Introduction to Flavor Chemistry
In this lesson, students will read an article about flavor chemistry to learn about the science of tasting. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading and help students experience what they’ve read about. One part, the Job Interview, could be used as plans for a substitute teacher since the activity is self-guided.
Solubility, Observations | Elementary School, Middle School
Activity: Paper Flower Blossoms
In this activity, students will investigate solubility by using a combination of washable markers and permanent ink to color a paper flower. The petals of the flower will be folded, and then placed in a shallow dish of water. Students will be intrigued by the outcome as they observe several changes occur. Using their knowledge of several fundamental chemistry topics, student will explain their observations using evidence and modeling.
Observations, Physical Properties, Solubility, Ionic Bonding | High School, Middle School
Lab: Microscopic Wonder
In this lab, students observe and describe the shape, size, and arrangement of salt crystals at various magnifications under a microscope and then compare the properties of each microscopically.
Combustion, Chemical Change, Balancing Equations, Reaction Rate, Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Matter, Stoichiometry, Limiting Reactant, Chemical Change, Conservation of Matter, Conservation of Mass, Graphing, Error Analysis, Accuracy, Observations, Inferences, Interdisciplinary, Reaction Rate, Catalysts, Measurements, Mole Concept | High School
Lesson Plan: Clean Air Chemistry
In this lesson, students will learn about air pollution and some steps toward mitigating it. First, they will burn a candle and measure its mass and the concentration of CO2 over time. Students will discuss which data set they have more confidence in and why and then use stoichiometry to predict outcomes. Next, students explore incomplete combustion in a model-based worksheet that shows how a lack of O2 in the burning of fuels can produce air pollution. Students work together to interpret the models, define terms, and draw conclusions. Lastly, students work in groups using Lego models to illustrate how a catalytic converter works. They race “Nature” against catalysts “Palladium,” “Platinum,” and “Rhodium” to see what breaks down air pollution molecules fastest.
Quantitative Chemistry, Percent Composition, Measurements, Observations | High School
Lab: Dehydration of Hydrated Salt
In this lab, students are introduced to chemical measurement in a hands-on investigation using a heat source and a hydrated compound. Students will determine the percentage water lost, by mass, from a hydrated compound during the heating process. Additionally, students will analyze and interpret their results in a claim, evidence, reasoning format.
Observations, Physical Properties, Interdisciplinary | Middle School
Lesson Plan: Fashionable Chemistry
In this lesson, students will explore the characteristics of different types of natural and synthetic fabrics. Students will learn how synthetic fabrics are made and review the chemical formulas for various fabrics. Finally, students will demonstrate their knowledge by holding a chemistry fashion show.
Measurements, SI Units, Physical Properties, Observations | High School
Lesson Plan: Setting the Standards of Excellence
In this lesson, students will learn about standards through a reading about the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is the U.S. body that defines standards. 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.
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
Project: Handwarmer Design Challenge
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.
Density, Observations, Inferences | Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Activity: Animation Activity: Density
In this activity, students will use an animation to visualize density on the particulate level. There are opportunities to make qualitative and quantitative comparisons between substances.
Electron Transfer, Electrons, Electricity, Model of the Atom, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Electrons, Observations | Middle School, High School
Lesson Plan: Understanding Static Electricity
In this lesson, students will complete a series of activities to explore how the imbalance of charges in materials creates static electricity and how those materials interact with others around them. They will describe the relationship between atomic structure, specifically the role of protons and electrons, and static electricity.
Identifying an Unknown, Observations, Physical Change, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Chemical Properties, Solubility, Precipitate, Indicators | High School
Lab: Using Qualitative Analysis to Identify Household Compounds
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.
Identifying an Unknown, Experimental Design, Chemical Properties, Physical Properties, Observations, Polyatomic Ions, Chemical Change, Ionic Bonding, Covalent Bonding, Solubility | High School
Lab: Determining the Composition of Bridge Straw Stalactites
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.
Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Physical Change, Chemical Change, Observations | 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 Change, Chemical Change, Observations | Elementary School, Middle School
Lab: Comparing Physical and Chemical Changes
In this lab, students will analyze different scenarios in order to determine if a physical or chemical change has occurred. This lab experience will provide students with the opportunity to record observations, as well as improve their ability to differentiate between physical and chemical changes.
Physical Properties, Observations, Matter | Elementary School
Lab: Investigating the Physical Properties of Everyday Items
In this lab, students will collect and analyze ordinary, everyday items in order to learn more about physical properties. Students will record data about each item, and then classify their items according to their properties.
Scientific Method, Experimental Design, Observations, Introduction, Graphing | Middle School, High School
Lab: Applying the Scientific Method to Stain Removal
In this lab, students will explore the real scientific process by designing an experiment to solve a problem. Students will learn about basic lab equipment, safety, and the scientific process of trial and error while solving a common problem: What color of food coloring requires the most bleach to remove?
Experimental Design, Scientific Method, Graphing, Observations | Middle School, High School
Lab: Mentos and Soda Investigations
In this lab, students will design their own experiment in which they manipulate a variable that relates to Mentos and soda. Students will generate a testable question, design an experiment, collect and analyze the data and present their findings.
Heat of Vaporization , Boiling Point, Intermolecular Forces, Phase Changes, Heating Curve, Heat of Combustion, Temperature, Specific Heat, Observations, Chemical Change, Physical Change | Middle School, High School
Demonstration: Cooking an Egg in Chemistry Class
In this demonstration, students will observe the very high latent heat of vaporization for water by boiling water over a Bunsen burner in a paper cup to cook a boiled egg. The discussion can be extended to incorporate intermolecular forces to explain the unusually high boiling point of water, as well as heat of vaporization and specific heat capacity.
Scientific Method, Observations, Experimental Design, Physical Properties | Elementary School
Lab: Stains, Stains, Go Away
In this lab, students will become more familiar with the scientific method as they investigate what type of cleaning product is best. Students will identify variables as they carry out a controlled test to compare the ability of different products to remove a ketchup stain.
Solubility, Solute & Solvent, Precipitate, Mixtures, Error Analysis, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Observations, Identifying an Unknown, Graphing | Middle School, High School
Lab: Chemicals, Chromatography, and Crime!
In this lab, students will test “evidence” that has been collected from a crime scene. In order to determine if the victim was poisoned, students will perform a solubility and crystallization test on an unknown powder. Then, students will attempt to identify the culprit by using paper chromatography to analyze the lipstick from the potential criminals.
Scientific Method, Observations, Experimental Design | Elementary School, Middle School
Lab: Introducing the Scientific Method
In this lab, students will be introduced to and become familiar with the scientific method. They will apply their understanding by following the steps of the scientific method while investigating the amount of fat in potato chips.
Activity Series, Balancing Equations, Predicting Products, Chemical Change, Chemical Change, Observations | High School
Lab: Activity Series of Unknown Metals
In this lab, students will create an activity series of metals from a series of reactions involving unknown metals. They will then compare their activity series and a list of metals used in this lab (supplied by the teacher after data collection) to a published activity series to identify the unknown metals.
Observations, Mixtures, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Chemical Change, pH | Elementary School
Demonstration: The Chemistry of Cheese
In this demonstration, students will observe the chemical process that occurs when making cheese. Students will be become more familiar with fundamental chemistry terms while making important observations.
Activity Series, Electrons, Electron Transfer, Balancing Equations, Predicting Products, Chemical Change, Chemical Change, Observations | High School
Activity: Simulation Activity: Metals in Aqueous Solutions
In this activity, students will run simulated tests of various metals in aqueous solutions to determine the relative reactivity of these metals. A total of eight metals will be observed in various combinations with the corresponding metal nitrate solutions and hydrochloric acid. Students will interpret the data collected to construct an activity series of the elements used in this simulation.
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