Teaching Lesson 1

The most important preparation here is to decide on the chemistry concepts that you want to cover in teaching this module. You can begin by discussing what a chemical reaction and discuss the aqueous state or not. You can discuss chemical symbols or stick to the chemical names. You can get as deep in the concepts as this reaction is a single replacement reaction. Balanced chemical reactions is another important concept that you can begin to discuss or emphasize.

Review the activities from Lesson 1 as well as the material below. Reflect on how you would teach this in your class. Post your reflection to your portfolio in "Pedagogy->Module 4" under the heading Lesson 1.

Lesson Objectives

The student will:

- Differentiate between atoms and ions [LO1]

- Identify evidence of a chemical reaction [LO2]

- Learn the importance of water as a medium for some chemical reactions to occur [LO3]

- Learn that models are important when dangerous or expensive materials are involved [LO4]

- Identify what aspects of a Chemical Reaction not included in the base model [LO5]

Teaching Summary

Getting started – 15 minutes

1.     Properties of matter, chemical formulas and evidence of a chemical reaction.


Activity #1:  Wet lab or virtual lab – 15 minutes

2.     Demonstration of chemical reaction- live or video via projection.


Activity #2: Previewing the Chemical Reaction base model – 15 minutes

3.     Computer model: “silver nitrate and copper reaction,” teacher-led demo.

4.     Run the model and discuss abstraction and application to real-world phenomena.


Wrap-Up – 5 minutes

5.     Signs of a chemical reaction.

Assessment questions (suggested):
  • What is the difference between atoms and ions?
  • What evidence of a chemical reaction was seen in real life and in the computer model?
  • Would the chemical reaction take place without water?
  • Why might we want to simulate chemical reactions on a computer rather than in real life?
  • What aspects of a chemical reaction were not included in the computer model?

NRC Disciplinary Core Ideas

PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

   Substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways. Atoms form molecules that range in size from two to thousands of atoms.

   Each pure substance has characteristic physical and chemical properties (for any bulk quantity under given conditions) that can be used to identify it.

   Gases and liquids are made of molecules or inert atoms that are moving about relative to each other.

   In a liquid, the molecules are constantly in contact with others; in a gas, they are widely spaced except when they happen to collide. In a solid, atoms are closely spaced and may vibrate in position but do not change relative locations.

   Solids may be formed from molecules, or they may be extended structures with repeating subunits (e.g., crystals).

PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

   Substances react chemically in characteristic ways. In a chemical process, the atoms that make up the original substances are regrouped into different molecules, and these new substances have different properties from those of the reactants.

   The total number of each type of atom is conserved, and thus the mass does not change.

   Some chemical reactions release energy, others store energy.

NRC Scientific and Engineering Practice Standards

Practice 1: Asking questions and defining problems

1A: Ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, models, or unexpected results.

1B: Ask question to identify and/or clarify evidence and/or the premise(s) of an argument.

1E: Ask questions that require sufficient and appropriate empirical evidence to answer.

1F: Ask questions that can be investigated within the scope of the classroom, outdoor environment, and based on observations and scientific principles.

Practice 2: Developing and using models:

2A: Evaluate limitations of a model for a proposed object or tool.


Practice 8: Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information:

8E: Communicate scientific and/or technical information (e.g. about a proposed object, tool, process, system) in writing and/or through oral presentations.

NRC Crosscutting Concepts

1. Patterns:

1A: Macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-level structure.


3. Scale, Proportion, and Quantity:

3A: Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.

3E: Phenomena that can be observed at one scale may not be observable at another scale.


4. Systems and Systems models:

4B: Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.

4C: Models are limited in that they only represent certain aspects of the system under study.


5. Energy and Matter:

5A: Matter is conserved because atoms are conserved in physical and chemical processes.

6. Structure and Function

6A: Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts; therefore, complex natural and designed structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function.


7. Stability and Change:

7A: Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales, including the atomic scale.



CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards




Discuss the value of abstraction to manage problem complexity.


Connections to other fields


Provide examples of interdisciplinary applications of computational thinking.


Modeling & simulation


Describe how a simulation can be used to solve a problem.


Modeling & simulation


Evaluate the kinds of problems that can be solved using modeling and simulation.


Modeling & simulation


Analyze the degree to which a computer model accurately represents the real world.


Modeling & simulation


Interact with content-specific models and simulations to support learning and research.