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Lesson Planet

Production of a Gas - Controlling a Chemical Reaction

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Though the publisher designated this unit for use with third through eighth grades, this particular activity would be best used with middle schoolers due to the specific measurement skills required. Basically, they set up the reaction...
Lesson Planet

Change in Temperature - Endothermic Reaction

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Now that learners have been exposed to chemical changes, they learn that some take in heat and therefore, decrease in temperature. The same reaction that they have been investigating between baking soda and vinegar is revisited,...
Lesson Planet

Using Chemical Change to Identify an Unknown

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
If you have taught the first lesson in this mini unit, learners already know that cabbage juice and vinegar cause chemical changes in some materials. Now, they get a chance to use them to compare the liquids' reactions to five known and...
Lesson Planet

Powder Particulars

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
By both demonstration and hands-on investigation, physical science fanatics come to know that some materials react when they come together. Adding vinegar to both baking soda and to baking powder, the difference between the two is clear....
Lesson Planet

Changing the Density of an Object - Changing Shape

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Continuing with the concept of volume and its effect on density, learners now work with a piece of clay to see if they can get it to float in water. This is a memorable end to a seven-part investigation of density. Make sure to check out...
Lesson Planet

Changing the Density of an Object - Adding Material

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
In this sixth of seven activities revolving around the concept of density, physical science fans figure out if anything can be done to change the density of an object. Demonstrate by placing a can of regular and a can of diet soda into a...
Lesson Planet

Changing the Density of a Liquid - Heating and Cooling

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
During a unit on density, pupils ponder whether or not temperature affects this property. By carefully inserting blue cold water and yellow hot water into a room-temperature sample, they will see the answer. Make sure to have done the...
Lesson Planet

Changing the Density of a Liquid - Adding Salt

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Fourth in a set of several little lessons on density, this one compares the density of fresh and salt water. First by demonstration, and then by a hands-on activity, learners find that adding salt increases the density, as is evidenced...
Lesson Planet

Comparing the Density of Different Liquids

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Learners will like making a liquid layer cake to investigate the relative densities of various liquids: water, oil, and corn syrup. They will also introduce a few solid materials to find out how their densities compare. Standing alone,...
Lesson Planet

Comparing the Density of an Object to the Density of Water

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Investigators construct a makeshift balance and compare equal volumes of wax and water. They do the same for clay and water. Then they discover whether the wax and clay will float or sink in water. Ultimately this is a comparison of...
Lesson Planet

Defining Density

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Three simple activities kick off a unit investigation of density. Your physical scientists make observations on the volume and mass of wood, water, and rocks, and make comparisons. Though this is written for grades three through eight,...
Lesson Planet

Create a Game – Extra Credit Chemistry Project

For Teachers 9th - 12th
What a fun way to review the year's learning! Working in small groups, learners select a major concept covered in class then create a game about it. The type of game is up to each group, but the expectations of what should be included...
Lesson Planet

The Ethanol Project

For Teachers 11th - 12th Standards
In a mock senate hearing regarding the development of ethanol as a fuel source, each person in the class is assigned a role to play and must uphold the stance of their character. Once the senate hearing is complete, each person writes a...
Lesson Planet

Bacteria Wanted Poster Research Project

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Bacteria and viruses are responsible for mass carnage, so what better way to learn about them than through creating a wanted poster? The wanted poster idea can be used for many different topics, so if you aren't teaching about bacteria,...
Lesson Planet

From Gas to Liquid to Solid

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
From gas to liquid condensation to solid frost, water undergoes phase changes before students' eyes! Using ice, salt, water, and a metal can, they set up an investigation that can be used in a physical science setting, or as part of a...
Lesson Planet

Exploring Moisture on the Outside of a Cold Cup: For Dry Environments

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
If the area you live in is arid, or the preceding experiment in this unit didn't yield obvious results, use this one in place of it to help reveal where condensation comes from. The mini unit that this is part of a comprehensive...
Lesson Planet

Exploring Moisture on the Outside of a Cold Cup

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
As a stand-alone or as part of the intended unit, this is a valid investigation of what causes condensation to occur.  By limiting the amount of air around a cold cup of water and comparing it to one out in the open, they find that the...
Lesson Planet

Matter on the Move

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Start this mini unit on matter out by demonstrating how food coloring behaves when placed in cold and in hot water. Then have the class experiment with warm water and soap film. Pupils will learn that an increase in thermal energy also...
Lesson Planet

Resonant Rings

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Physical or earth scientists construct this clever contraption to demonstrate how size effects frequency. Several paper rings of various sizes are taped onto a board and shaken to create vibrations. The resonant frequencies are easily...
Lesson Planet

Radioactive Decay Model

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Toss 100 pennies (or poker chips or any other two-different-sided objects) and remove all of those displaying tails. Line them up and repeat. The lines of pennies collected get smaller each time, successfully representing half-life.
Lesson Planet

Pinhole Magnifier

For Teachers 5th - 8th
Using a pinhole in an index card, learners of light find that it can be used as a magnifier. 
Lesson Planet

Noodling Around: Powers of Ten

For Teachers K - 12th Standards
How many noodles long is your classroom? Find out when engineers of all ages explore measurement through the use of pool noodles. With the noodles pre-cut to certain metric lengths, the activities could be used to introduce the metric...
Lesson Planet

Moire Patterns

For Teachers 9th - 12th
By overlapping combs and window screening and by looking at a printed set of consecutively larger circles, learners observe Moire patterns, which provide a visual of what happens during wave interference. 
Lesson Planet

Condensation

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
It's time to break the ice! If you are doing all of the lessons in the unit, children have already seen that increasing heat increases the rate of evaporation, but is the opposite true? Does decreasing temperature cause more condensation...