Chemical Reactions Box


This unit will explore the big idea of chemical changes and interactions.  The overall approach of the unit will be inquiry-based.  The students will utilize their previous studies of atoms and bonding as well as apply their knowledge to chemical reaction labs and activities.  An understanding of chemical reactions will prepare the students for the upcoming unit which examines chemical reactions between acids and bases.  The students will discover that during ordinary physical or chemical processes matter can neither be created nor destroyed.  It can only change forms.

Big Ideas and Essential Questions

Chemical Changes and Interactions: During ordinary physical or chemical processes matter can neither be created or destroyed.  It can only change forms.

The overarching essential questions that will guide student inquiry include:

  • What happens during a chemical reaction?
  • What causes a fire and how can you prevent one from happening?

The essential questions that will be considered include:

  • How can you tell if a chemical reaction has occurred when two chemicals are mixed?
  • How could you use your understanding of mathematical equations, to write a science equation showing that the number of atoms at the start of a reaction will equal the number of atoms at the end?
  • When certain chemicals like baking soda and vinegar are mixed together in a bag, why does the resulting mixture feel cool to the touch?

    Learning Objectives

    Students will understand that…

    • Chemical reactions involve changes in properties and changes in energy that you can observe during experimentation.
    • The changes in matter can be described in terms of physical changes and chemical changes.
    • Chemical equations use chemical formulas and other symbols to summarize a reaction.
    • A chemical reaction shows the same number of each type of atom on both sides of the equation.
    • A certain amount of activation energy is required for all chemical reactions.
    • When bonds break and new bonds form chemical changes occur.
    • Three things are necessary to start and maintain a fire.

    Student will know…

    • Key terms such as physical change, chemical change, reactant, product, precipitate, endothermic reaction, exothermic reaction, open system, closed system, coefficient, activation energy, and combustion.
    • The types of evidence that identify a chemical change from a physical change.
    • The law of the conservation of mass.
    • The fire triangle.

    Student will be able to…

    • Conduct scientific investigations that provide evidence of chemical reactions between compounds.
    • Determine if a chemical equation is balanced.
    • Use the mass of a closed system to prove conservation of matter.
    • Graph the energy changes in chemical reactions.

    What goals should I have as an educator?

    • During my instruction the students will be able to answer the following questions:
      • What are we doing?
      • Why are we being asked to do it?
      • What will it help me do?
      • How does it fit with what we have previously done?
      • How will I show that I have learned it?
    • Generate lessons that will keep my students hands-on and minds-on.
    • Discern what my student's potential misunderstandings might be?
    • Focus on determining the core ideas of the content I am trying to teach?
    • Help my students to grasp the meaning of a topic, so they can see its relationship to other subjects.
    • Focus on transferability of the facts I am teaching, so my students can go beyond the information I have given them and can create new knowledge arriving at further understandings.