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Chemical Reactions | NGSS

Chemical Reactions | NGSS

25-30 40 to 50 minute class periods (5-6 weeks)

How do people use chemical reactions to solve problems?

Students analyze and interpret data to determine whether chemical reactions have taken place. They use models to explain what takes place at the atomic/molecular scale during a reaction. They also apply what they learn about chemical reactions to such problems as designing useful products and identifying processes for cleaning up chemical wastes.

PE Assessment Example: Use the reaction you have just studied to design, test, and modify a device that can be used as a handwarmer.

Chemical Reactions is part of Issues and Science three year middle school program, designed by SEPUP at the Lawrence Hall of Science. This three week unit anchors the lessons around the the socio-science issue: How do people use chemical reactions to solve problems? Investigative phenomena within the 13 activities connect back to the issue and storyline. This unit builds towards and assesses PEs PS1-2, PS1-5, PS1-6.


Content in Chemical Reactions | NGSS is organized into 13 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
1. Producing Circuit Boards Investigation Students analyze and interpret data to compare the initial and final substances when a copper-coated circuit board is etched. This begins a series of activities that reveal patterns of changes indicating that chemical reactions have taken place.
2. Evidence of Chemical Change Laboratory Students carry out an investigation and analyze the results to identify evidence that may indicate that a chemical change has taken place. In later activities, the patterns they observe at the macroscopic level will be explained in terms of changes at the atomic/molecular level.
3. Physical Changes and Chemical Reactions Reading Students read about observable (macroscopic) and atomic/molecular-level patterns of changes in physical and chemical properties and how they can be signs of chemical reactions. They also read about how to use logical reasoning to avoid mistaking physical changes for chemical changes. They integrate ideas in the reading with their observations of chemical changes in the previous investigation, and analyze and interpret several examples to determine whether a change is physical or chemical.
4. Chemical Reactions at the Atomic Scale Modeling Students use molecular models to explore the kinds and numbers of each kind of atom, as well as the arrangements of atoms, in the reactants and products of several chemical reactions. The patterns they observe demonstrate the concept of conservation of atoms in chemical reactions, as well as the relationship between changes at the atomic/molecular scale and changes in the observable properties of substances.
5. Physical or Chemical Change? Talking It Over Students analyze and interpret information on the observable properties of substances before and after a change to determine whether the change is a physical change or a chemical reaction. This activity provides an assessment opportunity for Performance Expectation MS- PS1-2.
6. Comparing the Masses of Reactants and Products Laboratory Students investigate conservation of mass on a macroscopic scale. Students analyze and interpret data from two reactions to determine how the total mass of the products of a chemical reaction compares to the total mass of the reactants.
7. Explaining Conservation of Mass Modeling Students use a combination of molecular modeling and mathematical computation to describe the atomic/molecular basis for mass conservation in chemical reactions. They are introduced to the law of conservation of mass and the relevance of this law to various natural phenomena. This activity provides an assessment opportunity for Performance Expectation MS-PS1-5.
8. Chemical Batteries Investigation Students investigate how chemical energy can be transformed via a chemical process into electrical energy. After building a prototype wet cell, students brainstorm improvements and build, test, and evaluate new prototypes to meet a set of predetermined criteria within specified constraints.
9. Thermal Energy and Reactions Laboratory Students explore chemical reactions that absorb or release thermal energy. Through classroom discussion, students are introduced to the crosscutting concept that energy and matter are conserved but can transfer within a system between reactants, products, and the environment. They are also introduced to the idea that the absorption or release of energy is caused by the rearrangement of atoms during a reaction. Some rearrangements require energy; others release it.
10. Developing a Prototype Design Students undertake a design challenge to construct and test a hand warmer device that uses the thermal energy released from an iron exothermic reaction. When testing their designs, students analyze their results and brainstorm ideas for further modification.
11. Refining the Design Design Students use the thermal energy release from combining iron, calcium chloride, and water to design a hand warmer. Students redesign, construct, test, and evaluate their hand warmer designs from the “Developing a Prototype” activity. A new criterion is introduced— students must consider how to control the start of the chemical reaction in their design modifications. This activity provides an assessment opportunity for Performance Expectation MS-PS1-6.
12. Recovering Copper Laboratory Students investigate the use of reactions with three metals for reducing copper waste and reclaiming copper from the used copper etching solution produced in the first activity of the unit. Students use data from their investigation and text sources to develop an evidence-based argument for which metal is the best choice for recovering copper from the waste solution.
13. Another Approach to Recovering Copper Laboratory Students close the unit by applying what they have learned in previous activities to conduct a final investigation to figure out which precipitation reaction works best to remove copper from wastewater. Students analyze and interpret their data from this activity and previous activities to develop their evidence-based argument for the best choice of reactions.

Lab-Aids® provides several useful tools to guide you and your students through the Chemical Reactions unit:

Chemical Reactions | NGSS

Student Book

The Student Book guides students in exploring a socio-science issue and connected phemonena through a series of varied activity types. Activity types use one of twelve different instructional strategies to apply Science and Engineering Practices to specific Disciplinary Core Ideas and Cross Cutting Concepts. SEPUP's integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing. The built-in assessment system helps teachers identify students' strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of the unit. This allows them to adjust activities when needed so that all students get the best chance to build their knowledge and appreciation of science. At the back of the Student Book there is an Appendix containing additional resources for students, such as science skills, literacy strategies, and media literacy among others.

Chemical Reactions | NGSS

Lab-Aids® Science Lab Notebook

A science notebook not only models the way scientists work, but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills. The Lab-Aids Science Lab Notebook is designed to support best practice note-booking strategies. It includes three-hole punched pages in a two-column design for Cornell-style notes. GraphAnywhere pages allow students to both write and easily create data-tables and graphs anywhere on the page. The unique “Lab-Log” column serves as a blank canvas for drawings, connections, and self-reflective notes. 160 pages total.

Complete Equipment Package

Lab-Aids programs include high-quality equipment for each activity. This includes innovative lab-ware to be used throughout the year, specific solutions and materials for unique labs, as well as items needed for card sorts, modeling, role-plays, and projects. Materials for up to 5 classes of 32 students, mobile storage cart, Online Portal for one teacher includes online subscription to Teacher Edition and Resources, Student Book in English/Spanish (E/S), student sheets (E/S), visual aids (E/S), PowerPoints, online assessment system, LABsent, and supplemental resources)

Chemical Reactions | NGSS

Teacher Edition and Resources

The SEPUP Teacher Edition (TE) guides you through each activity in the Student Book and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the unit. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment.

The Teacher Edition text is broken down into several sections, such as Activity Overview, NGSS Connections and Correlations, Materials and Advanced Prep, Teaching Summary, and Background information to name a few. The Teacher Edition is packaged as a color-printed, loose-leaf binder which allows you to personalize it with highlighting, annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. It provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher Resource book.

The Teacher Resource (TR) provides background and suggestions to increase the overall effectiveness of implementing the program across all levels of learners. Some sections include: SEPUP’s Approach to Teaching and Learning, Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners, Literacy Strategies for Supporting Reading Comprehension and for Enhancing Students’ Writing, and comprehensive instruction on the SEPUP Assessment System. There is also a section containing unit specific resources, such as overviews, unit storyline and phenomena table, NGSS correlations, assessment blueprints, and item banks.

Online Portal for Students

Access to Student online portal for 1 year, which includes: the digital Student Book (Spanish coming soon), additional resources, and LABsent sheets and videos for absent students. Ability to highlight, bookmark and make notes in the Student Book, complete homework and assessments, and communicate with the teacher. Also available as multi-year subscriptions.

Online Portal for Teachers

Access to Teacher online portal for 7 years, which includes: online subscription to the Teacher Edition and Resources, Student Book (Spanish coming soon), LABsent sheets & videos for absent students, Editable PowerPoints for each lesson, and integrated online assessment system. Ability to highlight, bookmark, and make notes in personal Student and Teacher books, create and assign homework and assessments, and communicate with students. Available as multi-year subscriptions. Single Sign-On (SSO) available