AACT Chemistry Basics Unit Plan Updated

By Kim Duncan on September 17, 2020

As chemistry teachers around the country head back into their classrooms and begin planning activities for both distant face-to-face learning, AACT will be highlighting resources from our high school resource library that can be used to reinforce topics in different units throughout the school year. We’re beginning the year with articles, videos, simulations, and activities that could be used to support a Chemistry Basics unit.

We have added more resources related to this topic to the high school library, which are highlighted below. We have also updated our unit plan to help you teach an introductory unit on chemistry basics. In the sidebar of this page, we have included links to resources related to chemistry basics that are appropriate for virtual learning.

Laboratory Safety

Students learn about a simple 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 the ACS Chemical Safety video, RAMP for Students with multiple activities, students become more knowledgeable and better prepared to assess risks and identify hazards in the lab.

Using the RAMP template to assess lab risks includes being familiar with Safety Data Sheets (SDS). You’re your students use the Lab Safety and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) activity to learn how to identify safe lab practices with a focus on labeling and knowing the background safety information for all reagents used in a lab.

Laboratory Equipment

Use the activity, Laboratory Equipment Bingo to see how well your students know common equipment that can be found in a chemistry lab. This activity includes 32 unique bingo cards and a PowerPoint presentation with pictures of 49 pieces of lab equipment.

The lab, Accuracy, Precision, and Error in Measurements will help students understand that the exactness of a measurement is limited by the precision of the measuring instrument. It also connects the concept of significant figures to lab measurements and values calculated using them.

Introductory Topics

Use the video, How the Periodic Table Organizes the Elements from the American Chemical Society to introduce the basics about the Periodic Table to your students. The resource includes a student activity sheet for students to answer questions during the video and an answer key.

The Classifying Matter animation will help students become familiar with definitions and examples of several broad classifications of matter, including pure substances (elements and compounds) and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous). The animation includes real-life examples as well as particles for each type of matter. Follow up with the Elements, Compounds, & Mixtures – Oh My! Activity to provide students with more practice with classification of matter and particle diagrams.

We hope that these resources can help you to reinforce several of the topics covered in a unit about Chemistry Basics. Most of these lessons were made possible by great teachers who shared their own resources. We need your help to keep the collection growing. Do you have a great demonstration, activity, or lesson related to this topic that you would like to share with the community? Please send it along for consideration.