New Resources from the AACT AP Chemistry Content Writing Team

By Kim Duncan on October 19, 2017

This past summer AACT hosted an AP Chemistry Content Writing Team to create AP chemistry focused teaching resources for our High School Classroom Resource Library. The three teachers chosen focused on creating teaching resources directly related to the Learning Objectives identified in Big Ideas 4, 5, and 6. This week we are publishing the first of two resources from each of our content team members.

Determining the Driving Force of a Reaction

Jennifer Douglas, a teacher at Veterans High School in Kathleen, Georgia focused on Big Idea 5 for her first lesson, specifically Learning Objectives 5.12, 5.13, and 5.14. In her lesson plan, Entropy and Enthalphy as Driving Forces, students observe various chemical and physical processes to qualitatively predict and explain the signs of ∆S and ∆H. Based on their observations, they then predict the sign of ∆G and determine the driving force of the process. Following, students calculate ∆S, ∆H, and ∆G from known data.

This lesson focuses on thermochemical predictions, calculations, and explanations with a lesson plan that includes an introductory demonstration, a student activity with a worksheet, an answer key, and supplemental teacher notes. Additionally, there are links to related AP Chemistry exam free-response questions.

Catalysts, Intermediates, and Mechanisms

Erin Radebe, a teacher at Long Reach High School in Columbia, Maryland concentrated on Learning objectives 4.7 and 4.9 from Big Idea 4 for her lesson plan, The Downside to Catalysts – An Exploration of CFCs on the Ozone Layer. Note, the lesson includes review materials from Big Idea 1 (EK 1.D.3) and Big Idea 2 (LO 2.21).

Students begin the lesson by making observations of a colorful homogenous catalyst and intermediate in a reaction. This gives them a visual example of the terminology that some find challenging in this big idea. They then work in teams to analyze graphs and data sets in order to make a real world connection to topics in kinetics, such as catalysts, intermediates, reaction mechanisms, by exploring how CFCs work to break down the ozone layer. Further, students investigate and discuss some of the human sides of this environmental issue. The activity helps them to review light energy calculations, Lewis dot diagrams, molecular geometries, and resonance structures.

The lesson plan includes a demonstration, teacher background information, a student activity sheet, an answer key, and sample AP Chemistry exam multiple choice questions.

Hess's Law Lab Application

Our third content team member, James Cherry, is a teacher at Summit High School in Spring Hill, Tennessee. His lesson plan, Hess’s Law Application, focuses on Big Idea 5, specifically Learning Objectives 5.6, 5.7, and 5.8. The lesson includes a formative quiz to review the concepts before students complete the lab activity. During the lab, students collect data for the reaction of magnesium and hydrochloric acid and the reaction of magnesium oxide and hydrochloric acid in a coffee cup calorimeter. Students use their data to determine the ΔHrxn of an unknown reaction using calorimetry calculations and Hess’s Law.

The lesson includes a formative quiz with an answer key, teacher background information, student activity sheets, sample lab data with calculations, and links to sample AP Chemistry exam free-response questions.

We hope that you find these resources useful with your AP Chemistry classes. The content teams' second set of resources will be published later this year. If you have an AP Chemistry resource that you’d like to share with the AACT community, please send it along for consideration.