Teaching Lesson 2

The most important activity here is the decoding activity where every student needs to understand what every piece of code in this base model does. The one block that could be deemphasized is the count of copper in the forever block in the World tab. This is a bit complicated concept about why the count of gray copper is cut in half. A throrough explanation is in the info section of the base model, but students do not need to worry about understanding it. To test students' understanding of the base model, it is recommended to use the two extensions.


Review the activities from Lesson 2 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 2.

Lesson Objectives

The student will:

- Differentiate between chemical and physical properties of substances [LO6]

- Identify atomic symbols [LO7]

- Identify chemical formulas of the reactions in this module [LO8]

- Identify which reactant is limiting and which is in excess [LO9]

- Identify signs of a chemical reaction and when a chemical reaction stops [LO10]

Teaching Summary

Getting started: – 10 minutes

1.     Chemical reaction overview                  


Activity #1:  Analyzing the model – 20 minutes

2.     Examine the base model


Activity #2: Modifying the model – 15 minutes

3.     Add or remove water molecules

4.     Move the copper rod to a different location


                  Wrap-Up – 5 minutes

5.     How does this model help us learn about the chemical reaction?

Assessment questions (suggested):

      What is the difference between the chemical and physical properties of copper?

      Describe how many silver nitrate molecules are needed to react with each copper atom?

      Which reactant is limiting the reaction?

      Which reactant is in excess in the reaction?

      How do we know that a chemical reaction has taken place?

      How do we know when a chemical reaction has stopped?


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.

1C: Ask questions to determine relationships between independent and dependent variables and relationships in models.

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.

2B: Develop or modify a model—based on evidence – to match what happens if a variable or component of a system is changed.

2C: Use and/or develop a model of simple systems with uncertain and less predictable factors.

2D: Develop and/or revise a model to show the relationships among variables, including those that are not observable but predict observable phenomena.

2E: Develop and/or use a model to predict and/or describe phenomena.

2G: Develop and/or use a model to generate data to test ideas about phenomena in natural or designed systems, including those representing inputs and outputs, and those at unobservable scales.


Practice 4: Analyzing and interpreting data

4D: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.

4F: Consider limitations of data analysis (e.g., measurement error), and/or seek to improve precision and accuracy of data with better technological tools and methods (e.g., multiple trials).

4H: Analyze data to define an optimal operational range for a proposed object, tool, process or system that best meets criteria for success.


Practice 6: Constructing explanations and designing solutions

6A: Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict(s) and/or describe(s) phenomena.

6B: Construct an explanation using models or representations.

6D: Apply scientific ideas, principles, and/or evidence to construct, revise and/or use an explanation for real-world phenomena, examples, or events.

6H: Optimize performance of a design by prioritizing criteria, making tradeoffs, testing, revising, and re-testing.


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 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 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.


Data representation


Use visual representation of problem state, structure and data.


Modeling & simulation


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