Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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

    Lesson Plan: The Chemistry Basics and Measurement Quick Start Unit Plan

    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.

  • Observations, Introduction, Lab Safety, Scientific Method, Graphing, Experimental Design | 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?

  • Introduction, Molecular Structure, Matter | High School

    Activity: Real World Particle Diagramming

    In this activity, students illustrate everyday objects on the particulate level. To do this, students pick an object around the school (or their home) and then take a picture of the object, research its composition, and draw a particle diagram representation of the object. This helps students to gain confidence in representing matter at a particulate level by starting with familiar objects.

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Dimensional Analysis, Experimental Design | High School

    Project: Food Chemistry Infographic

    In this project, students will research the chemical content and nutritional value of their favorite holiday foods, presenting their findings in an infographic. They will also include a recipe, which they will convert to metric units to practice dimensional analysis. As an extension to explore experimental design, they could alter one aspect of the recipe and observe how that change affects the final product.

  • Introduction, Lab Safety | Middle School, High 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.

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

  • 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, Atoms, Review, 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.

  • Introduction, History, Renewable Energy, Interdisciplinary, 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.

  • Introduction, History, Renewable Energy, Interdisciplinary, 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, Introduction, Physical Change, History, Lab Safety, Chemical Change, 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.

  • 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.

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

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