More New Resources from the AACT AP Chemistry Content Writing Team

By Kim Duncan on January 26, 2018

This past summer AACT hosted an AP Chemistry Content Writing Team to create AP chemistry teaching resources for our High School Classroom Library. The first three lessons, released on October 19, 2017, focused on Big Ideas 4 and 5. This week we are publishing the final three resources from our content team members which each focus on Big Idea 6.

Jennifer Douglas, a teacher at Veterans High School in Kathleen, Georgia focused on Learning Objectives 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, and 6.7 for her second lesson. In her lesson plan, Discovering Equilibrium, students manipulate sets of given conditions to discover what equilibrium is and how equilibrium is established from different starting conditions. Students then refer back to the activity as the foundation framework for the rest of Essential Knowledge 6.A.

This lesson focuses on the concept of dynamic equilibrium, the meaning of K, comparing K to Q in order to predict which direction a system must proceed to reach equilibrium, performing calculations involving K, and using a graph to recognize the establishment of chemical equilibrium.

This multiday lesson includes an introductory activity worksheet, guided student notes with answer key, extensive teacher background notes and an Excel spreadsheet to help students analyze and graph equilibrium data. Additionally, there are links to related AP Chemistry exam free-response questions.


Erin Radebe, a teacher at Long Reach High School in Columbia, Maryland concentrated on Learning Objectives 6.7, 6.11, and 6.17 for her second lesson plan, Categorizing, Calculating and Applying Concepts from Weak Acids, Weak Bases and Salts.

Since the AP curriculum was updated in 2014, it has become especially important for students to be able to analyze lab data for pH and interpret particulate drawings (beaker diagrams) in addition to calculating the pH. This resource is a series of lessons and activities which cover AP level concepts about weak acids, bases, and salts which can be used as a complete sequence of lessons or as standalone activities.

The lesson plan includes notes and practice problems to help students learn to categorize weak acids and bases as well as acidic, neutral, and basic salts. They then use beaker diagrams in a cooperative group activity to better understand why the pH calculation for a weak acid/base is not the same for a strong acid/base. Finally, they apply these concepts in a lab in which they will identify several unknown, clear, colorless solutions using factors such as pH, conductivity and reactivity. The following review resources are also provided: a set of review practice cards, a Kahoot game link, and a pH of Everything Booklet.


Our third content team member, James Cherry, is a teacher at Summit High School in Spring Hill, Tennessee. His lesson plan, Preparation and Evaluation of Buffers, focuses on Learning Objectives 6.18, 6.19, and 6.20. In this lab, students use multiple methods to calculate and prepare buffered solutions with a desired pH. While preparing the solutions, students explore different aspects of buffers including buffering capacity and predominant form.

The lesson includes a formative quiz with an answer key, teacher background information, student activity sheets with sample calculations, and a PowerPoint presentation. Additionally, there are links to related AP Chemistry exam free-response questions.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to prepare a buffered solution with a desired pH from a weak acid and its salt, prepare a buffered solution with a desired pH by partially neutralizing a weak acid with a strong base, compare the buffering capacity between two buffered solutions, and evaluate the predominant form of an acid in a solution of a specific pH.


We hope that you find these resources useful with your AP Chemistry classes. If you have an AP Chemistry resource that you’d like to share with the AACT community, please send it along for consideration.