Using New AACT Resources to Help Teach Aqueous Solutions

By Kim Duncan on February 4, 2020

As chemistry teachers plan activities for their students, AACT will highlight resources from our high school library that help to reinforce topics in different units throughout the school year. Our last news post highlighted resources from our high school library Phase Changes and Heat Transfer unit. We will now focus on lessons and other activities that are part of an Aqueous Solutions unit.

Since our original posts in March 2018 and February 2019, we have added a few more resources that you might consider trying with your students. Additionally, we have created a unit plan that uses many of our resources to help you teach a unit on Aqueous Solutions.

  • The new resource, Saturated Solutions: An Engagement Activity is designed to be an introduction to solutions, particularly saturated solutions. It allows students to observe salt dissolving in water and participate in a think-pair-share activity using teacher-led questions.
  • The simulation, Preparing Solutions and the corresponding activity allows students to complete calculations in order to determine either the molarity of solution, volume of solution, or mass of solute needed. It also includes particle diagrams for each different solution to help students better visualize the solution at the particulate level. Students also gain familiarity with the proper lab techniques for preparing a solution, as they are lead through a step-by-step animated process demonstrating this procedure.

  • Our Diffusion and Osmosis lesson plan can help your students build upon their understanding of solutions and concentration. During the activity, they observe the diffusion of food coloring dye in water and then perform an experiment focused on how solutions of different concentrations will affect the movement of water across a semi-permeable membrane. This lesson includes a demonstration and lab activity, and uses the 2007 ChemMatters article, “Paintball”.
  • An Environmental Impact Study is a great resource for those who like to include a culminating activity in their lesson planning. In this activity, students test a water sample from a local zoo, where it is reported that many bird eggs are not hatching. Students test the water for the presence of multiple ions. Once the type of ion in the water is determined, they write balanced equations to illustrate their findings. Students also conduct a serial dilution to determine the concentration, or molarity, of the ion in the water sample. The molarity is then compared to known values to determine if the materials in the water are at an unhealthy level.

We hope that these activities can help you to reinforce several of the topics covered in a unit about aqueous solutions. 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.