AACT Equilibrium Unit Plan Updated

By Kim Duncan on March 18, 2021

As chemistry teachers around the country are planning activities for both distant and 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 recently updated the Kinetics unit and we are now moving on to resources that can be used to support an Equilibrium unit.

We have added three resource related to Le Châtelier’s Principle to the high school library, which are highlighted below. We have also updated our unit plan to help you teach an introductory unit on equilibrium. In the sidebar of this page, we have included links to resources that are appropriate for virtual learning.

Students can gain a better understanding of what it means for a reaction to be in a state of equilibrium and how a reaction progresses over time to establish equilibrium with the activity, Equilibrium Particulate View.  They will also learn how to relate the equilibrium constant to the amount of products and reactants present at equilibrium. Then use the activity, Le Châtelier's Principle Particulate View to help students gain a greater understanding of how applying a stress to a reaction system will shift the equilibrium. This activity shows them how to predict the direction a reversible reaction will shift based of the value of the reaction quotient (Q) and the equilibrium constant (K).

The lab, A Greener Le Châtelier's Principle allows students to explore the concept using non-toxic materials, while still visualizing the equilibrium shifts through color changes. Traditional equilibrium experiments and Le Châtelier’s Principle are observed using chemicals, such as cobalt (IV) chloride and iron (III) thiocyanate, which undergo color changes as the equilibrium position shifts. While these reactions are very effective, they utilize reagents that are toxic.

We hope that these resources can help you to reinforce several of the topics covered in a unit about equilibrium. 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.