Building a Gas Laws Unit Plan Using AACT Resources

By Kim Duncan and Jenn Parsons on August 11, 2016

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 teaching the Gas Laws to your students.

  • Introduce this unit to your students by showing them the Gases animation. In this animation students will visualize how volume, pressure, temperature, and quantity of a gas are related. Qualitative and quantitative relationships are explored. Use the animation to guide your students through a discussion of what is happening at the atomic levels for gases. You can also show the Founders of Chemistry: Robert Boyle video which tells the story of Robert Boyle, a great chemist and discoverer of Boyle’s Law, and it describes the relationship between pressure and volume of a gas. Both resources can be found in the Multimedia section of the website.
  • After the class discussion, students can get active with the Gas Pressure lab. In this lab, students will better understand what causes pressure in a container and the variables that affect pressure (volume, temperature, number of moles) by mimicking molecular motion of gases. This activity will further help your students visualize the behavior or gas particles.
  • Use the Gas Laws simulation to introduce gas law mathematical relationships into the unit. In this simulation, students will investigate three of the fundamental gas laws, including Boyle’s Law, Charles’ Law and Gay-Lussac’s Law. Students will have the opportunity to visually examine the effect of changing the associated variables of pressure, volume, or temperature in each situation. Also, students will analyze the gas samples at the particle level as well as manipulate quantitative data in each scenario. Finally students will interpret trends in the data by examining the graph associated with each of the gas laws. This lesson accompanies the simulation from the November 2015 issue of Chemistry Solutions.
  • A “Day of Demos” will help your students apply the concepts to phenomena they observe every day.
    Make the Water Rise! In this demonstration, students will observe the impact of temperature change on a gas through an engaging demonstration using simple household materials.
    Balloon and Flask – In this demo, students will witness the relationship between temperature and volume as well as temperature and pressure.
    Comparing Gas Density In this demonstration, students will observe a reaction between baking soda and vinegar in the presence of a variety of different heights of lit candles. The initial environment has plenty of oxygen present in order to sustain the candle’s flame; however the reaction will produce carbon dioxide which will cause the lit candles to extinguish in order of height. Students will analyze and compare the presence of the gases in the container and make determinations about the densities of each.
    EGG-citing Gas Laws! -In this demonstration, students will observe the impact of temperature change on gas pressure through an engaging demonstration using simple household materials.
  • Students can get more practice explaining the relationship between gas temperature, pressure, and volume with the Understanding Gas Laws activity. In this activity, students use an online program to investigate gas laws (Kinetic Molecular Theory, Partial Pressure, Boyle’s Law, Charles Law, Gay-Lussac’s Law)
  • Do you students need a bit more? This Gas Laws activity allows students to examine gas laws by carrying out several computer simulations.
  • It’s time for the students to get some hands on experience with the Exploring Gases In this lab, students will investigate the relationship between the variables of temperature, volume and pressure. Students will engage in three lab station activities that each demonstrate a particular gas law. Students will interpret the results, graph data points and relate given data sets to each of the three gas laws.
  • Use the Ideal Gas Law Using Carbon Dioxide demo to allow your students the opportunity to link calculations to gas observations. In this demonstration, students observe dry ice sublime while the CO2 gas fills a balloon. They then calculate the moles and volume of CO2
  • Tie chemistry to real life with the Stoichiometry of Air Bags lesson plan. In this lesson, students will be introduced to the concept of gram to gram stoichiometry calculations. Students will be guided through a scenario regarding air bags and will be tasked with calculating the amount of gas (NaN3) that must be used to inflate a vehicle air bag to the correct size. Follow-up practice problems are also provided. There is a PowerPoint presentation prepared for this lesson.
  • For a culminating activity use the Air Bag Stoichiometry project. In this activity, students make real-world connections of stoichiometry with the design of car air bag. This can be used as a class activity or as an assessment.
  • You can add an extension activity to increase your student’s science literacy with the ChemMatters April 2013 article, “In the Fog about Smog: Solving the Smog Puzzle on Earth and From Space Ozone, Our Global Sunscreen.” Several suggestions from the Teacher’s Guide are included with this handout. There is also an accompanying ChemMatters Video (Episode 12), How NASA Tracks Air Pollution from Space. NASA’s Aura satellite can measure air quality across the entire planet in just 24 hours. This episode describes some of Aura’s achievements, explains how smog is formed, and discusses the future of Earth’s ozone hole.