Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Physical Properties, Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Covalent Bonding, Molecular Geometry, Lewis Structures | High School

    Activity: Simulation Activity: Intermolecular Forces

    In this simulation, students will review the three major types of intermolecular forces – London dispersion forces, dipole-dipole interactions, and hydrogen bonding – through short video clips and accompanying text. They will then answer quiz questions using the relative strengths of these forces to compare different substances given their name, formula, and Lewis structure, and put them in order based on the strength of their intermolecular forces, their boiling point, or their vapor pressure. The simulation is designed as a five question quiz for students to use multiple times.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Elements, Interdisciplinary, Percent Composition | High School

    Activity: Investigating how the Chemistry of Plate Tectonics Affects Volcanoes

    In this activity, students will learn about the impact chemistry has on plate tectonics and volcanoes. Students will analyze graphs and charts in order to better understand these topics during this investigation.

  • Periodic Table, Atomic Radius, Ionization Energy, Electronegativity | High School

    Activity: Periodic War

    In this activity, students play a card game to apply their knowledge of the periodic trends of the main group elements.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Polarity, Covalent Bonding, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Geometry, Electronegativity | High School, Middle School

    Activity: The Chemistry of Water Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about how the molecular geometry and polarity of water give rise to many of its unusual physical properties, including its relatively high boiling point and its ability to dissolve some substances but not others.

  • History, Acid Base Reactions, Acid & Base Theories, Strong vs Weak, pH | High School, Middle School

    Activity: What are Acids & Bases? Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about acids and bases. They will learn about characteristics of acids and bases, the pH scale, and the role of acids in biochemistry.

  • Physical Properties, Introduction, History, Periodic Table, Valence Electrons, Chemical Properties, Electrons | High School, Middle 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, Review, Atoms, Isotopes, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes, Electrons | High School, Middle 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.

  • History | High School, Middle School

    Project: Famous Women Chemists: Snapchat Storyboard

    In this lesson, students will research female chemists and create a 6-panel ‘Snapchat’ storyboard to present the information learned.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Melting Point, Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Ionic Bonding, Ionic Radius, Ions | High School

    Activity: My Name is Bond, Ionic Bond

    In this lesson, students will demonstrate their knowledge of ionic bond strength using a “brackets” activity. Pairs of students start the activity playing a game of “Ionic Compound War” to build eight compounds. Then then transfer the compounds to a “bracket” and use their knowledge of ionic bonding, along with a solubility chart, to predict the strongest and weakest bond between four pairs of ionic substances.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Melting Point, Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Ionic Bonding, Ionic Radius, Ions | High School

    Activity: Ionic Bonding Brackets

    In this lesson, students will demonstrate their knowledge of ionic bond strength and its relationship to the properties of melting point and solubility using a “brackets” activity. After analyzing the ionic charge and radius to predict the strongest and weakest bond between four pairs of ionic substances, they will then determine which will be the least soluble.

  • Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Designing a Procedure for Product Testing

    In this activity, students will take on the role of research engineers who work for a chemical company that sells coatings for different types of surfaces.  Students are required to design a procedure for testing their common household coating to prove its durability to various types of stresses. Students will be required to create procedures that can collect both quantitative and qualitative data as well as an appropriate data table.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Color Matching Paint Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about how technology, specifically focusing on spectrophotometry, can be used for paint matching. During the video, students will learn how the spectrophotometer interacts with the spectrum of visible light in order to match or reproduce specific paint colors.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Animation: Classifying Matter Animation

    In this animation, students will become familiar with definitions and examples of several broad classifications of matter, including pure substances (elements and compounds) and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous). Students will be given real-life examples as well as particle diagrams.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Elements, Compounds, & Mixtures - Oh My!

    In this activity, students will define terms related to various kinds of pure substances and mixtures, as well as analyze and draw particle diagrams.

  • Elements, Matter, Mixtures | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Animation Activity: Classifying Matter

    In this animation, students will become familiar with definitions and examples of several broad classifications of matter, including pure substances (elements and compounds) and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous). Students will be given real-life examples as well as particle diagrams.

  • History, Periodic Table, Mole Concept | High School

    Activity: The Mole Crossword Puzzle

    In this activity, students will be challenged with clues that are related to the concept of the mole in order to complete a crossword puzzle.

  • Renewable Energy, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Heat, Molecular Structure | High School, Middle 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.

  • Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Periodic Table, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Valence Electrons, Subatomic Particles, Lewis Dot Diagrams, Molecular Geometry, Ions, Lewis Structures | Middle School, High School

    Simulation: Ionic & Covalent Bonding

    In the September 2016 simulation, students investigate both ionic and covalent bonding. Students will have the opportunity to interact with many possible combinations of atoms and will be tasked with determining the type of bond and the number of atom needed to form each. Students will become familiar with the molecular formula, as well as the naming system for each type of bond and geometric shape, when applicable.

  • Density, Elements, Periodic Table, Atomic Mass, Atomic Radius, Electronegativity | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Organizing the Periodic Table

    In this activity, students are challenged to organize elements into the shape of the periodic table based on trends in data. Students are given a set of cards, each card representing an element, and containing five data points for consideration. The data that students will analyze includes atomic mass, atomic radius, melting point, density and electronegativity.

  • Density, Elements, Interdisciplinary | High School

    Activity: Applying Density to Earth

    In this activity, students will analyze data related to elevation and rock composition, in order to better understand the impact that density has on earth chemistry.

  • Elements, Interdisciplinary, Molecular Formula, Molecular Structure | High School

    Activity: Discovering Minerals as Naturally Occurring Compounds

    In this activity, students will learn about the basics of earth chemistry. Students will investigate and analyze the composition of various minerals, while drawing connections to their chemistry content knowledge. Additionally, students will examine the chemical make-up of the earth’s crust and interpret associated data.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 6: RAMP (For Teachers)

    As a teacher, there are steps you can take to make sure your students are as safe as possible while exploring and experimenting in the lab. In this video, we discuss some ideas to help you to set up a safe lab experiment. We use RAMP, the acronym for lab safety. RAMP stands for Recognize hazards; Assess risks; Minimize risks and Prepare for emergencies. RAMP is a simple yet powerful tool to help you prepare for and safely carry out any lab activity with your students.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 5: RAMP (For Students)

    Use this video to teach your students a simple yet powerful tool for protecting you and your classmates in the lab. The tool is called RAMP. RAMP stands for: Recognize hazards; Assess risks; Minimize risks and Prepare for emergencies.

  • Lab Safety | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Video 4: Preparing for Emergencies

    There is an old saying that you should always plan for the best, but prepare for the worst. This is good advice in the lab as well. Use this video to teach your students about two lab emergencies that carry a high risk of injury--spills and fires. The videos describes concrete steps to prevent these emergencies and goes over some of the safety equipment used to deal with them.

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Grade Level: High School

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