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  • Middle School

    Chemical Reactions

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred. MS-PS1-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved. MS-PS1-5

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes. MS-PS1-6

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Developing and Using Models

Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to developing, using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

ELA/Literacy

  • RST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-PS1-2)
  • RST.6-8.3 - Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks. (MS-PS1-6)
  • RST.6-8.7 - Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-PS1-2), (MS-PS1-5)
  • WHST.6-8.7 - Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. (MS-PS1-6)

Mathematics

  • 6.RP.A.3 - Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations. (MS-PS1-2), (MS-PS1-5)
  • 6.SP.B.4 - Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots. (MS-PS1-2)
  • 6.SP.B.5 - Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context. (MS-PS1-2)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-PS1-2), (MS-PS1-5)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (MS-PS1-5)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • This activity begins with an analysis of the chemical equation for the reaction between vinegar and baking soda.  Students try this reaction on their own, experimenting with how changing the amount of one or more of the reactants affects the amo ...

  • This one minute video shows several balloons being popped by an orange peel.  An orange is sliced and then squeezed near a balloon, resulting in the balloon popping.  This is repeated several times. Possible driving questions include: ...

  •   In this activity, students use a series of clues to identify ten types of materials, some natural and others man-made.  Video clues and written clues are provided, and use of internet research is encouraged. The activity can be structu ...

  • In this lesson, students learn about the components of air, and the chemical reactions that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  They use LEGO bricks to model conservation of mass during combustion, and explore the connection between car ...

  •      Students test various endothermic and exothermic changes and reactions, then use their findings to design a reptile egg carrier.  The egg carrier must reach a specific temperature range and be designed to protect a repti ...

  • The phenomenon of a burning candle is used to introduce the idea of reactants and products.  Students use a paper model of atoms in a combustion reaction to see that atoms are not created or destroyed, only rearranged.  They move on to coun ...

  • Students will view a teacher demonstration then do an activity themselves.  They will compare and contrast the results and methods, to determine why the results were different.  Students will use knowledge about conservation of mass and an ...

  • Students observe the properties of substances before and after three teacher-demonstrated chemical reactions.  They use their observations to draw conclusions about characteristics that define chemical reactions.  They test their conclusion ...

  • The overarching unit has students learn about, design, and build biosuits - suits designed to protect people in potentially dangerous conditions while allowing for complex tasks to still be completed. This review focuses on lessons 3 and 4 of that tw ...

  • Students begin the activity by brainstorming observable changes that indicate a chemical change has occurred. They then mix calcium chloride with water and measure the temperature change during the reaction. Next, they add baking soda to the solution ...

  • This is a 5E laboratory lesson plan about endothermic and exothermic reactions. Teaching resources include activity sheets for assessment, answer sheets, a variety of video clips and animations to support the students' learning of the concepts, backg ...

  • In this interactive simulation, users adjust the coefficients in an equation while the molecules are depicted in a box above the equation. This allows the users to visualize what the symbols in the chemical equation actually mean. They can count the ...

  • This lesson plan introduces students to the process of plating one metallic object with another metal and the importance of this process in engineering applications. With parameters, students design strategies to copperplate other metal objects using ...

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  • In this series of games, your students will learn the properties of pure substances and what distinguishes them from other substances. The Pure Substances learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement a...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the components of chemical reactions and how they change. The Chemical Reactions: Arrangements of Atoms learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagem...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn how to determine whether a chemical reaction has occurred. The Chemical Reactions: Evidence of a Reaction learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement ...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn the characteristics of balanced chemical reactions. The Conservation of Matter in Chemical Reactions learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and a...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the release and absorption of energy in reactions. The Energy Transfer in Chemical Reactions learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and aca...

  • Includes: an example of a 6th grade unit incorporating Depth of Knowledge (DOK), New Taxonomy (Marzano and Kendall, 2007), and bundled NGSS Performance Expectations for Matter and Its Interactions; example student-reflection, guide of how to populat...

  • This short video surveys the different current and potential sources of energy - both non-renewable and renewable. It provides some discussion of the pros and cons of the different sources and explains how they are used to produce energy that people...

  • This hands-on activity will provide students with an understanding of the issues that surround environmental clean-up. Students will create their own oil spill, try different methods for cleaning it up, and then discuss the merits of each method in t...

  • This activity introduces wind energy concepts through a reading passage and by answering assessment questions. The main section of the activity involves constructing and testing a windmill to observe how design and position affect the electrical ener...

  • A sequence of five short animated videos that explain the properties of carbon in relationship to global warming, narrated by Robert Krulwich from NPR.

  • This activity includes an assessment, analysis, and action tool that can be used by classrooms to promote understanding of how the complex current issues of energy, pollution, supply, and consumption are not just global but also local issues.

  • This fuel cell animation demonstrates how a fuel cell uses hydrogen to produce electricity, with only water and heat as byproducts. The animation consists of four parts - an introduction, fuel cell components, chemical process, and fuel cell stack.

  • This interactive diagram from the National Academy of Sciences shows how we rely on a variety of primary energy sources (solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass, oil) to supply energy to four end-use sectors (residential, ...

  • This video provides an overview of the research of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on converting biomass to liquid fuels.

  • This video discusses two key signs of global change in the Southern Ocean: changes in Antarctic bottom water and ocean acidification.

  • This static image from NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Carbon Program offers a visually compelling and scientifically sound image of the sea water carbonate chemistry process that leads to ocean acidification and impedes calcification.

  • This interactive animation focuses on the carbon cycle and includes embedded videos and captioned images to provide greater clarification and detail of the cycle than would be available by a single static visual alone.

  • This is a debate-style learning activity in which student teams learn about energy sources and are then assigned to represent the different energy sources. Working cooperatively, students develop arguments on the pros and cons of their source over th...

  • This well-designed experiment compares CO2 impacts on salt water and fresh water. In a short demonstration, students examine how distilled water (i.e., pure water without any dissolved ions or compounds) and seawater are affected differently by incre...

  • This video segment from the Earth Operators Manual summarizes how fossil fuels are made, provides a comparison of how long it takes to store energy in coal, oil and natural gas, and discusses how fast we're using them.

  • This Flash animation describes how hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors and can be configured to obtain different objectives, such as improved fuel economy, increased power, or additional auxili...

  • This is a series of 10 short videos, hosted by the National Science Foundation, each featuring scientists, research, and green technologies. The overall goal of this series is to encourage people to ask questions and look beyond fossil fuels for inno...

  • This activity is a greenhouse-effect-in-a-bottle experiment. The lesson includes readings from NEED.org and an inquiry lab measuring the effect of carbon dioxide and temperature change in an enclosed environment.

  • This is a utility-scale, land-based map of the mean annual wind speed 80 meters above the ground. This map can be used to evaluate the potential for wind energy in the US. State maps and more information are linked from the main map.

  • This slideshow lays out a photo story with short descriptions of how designers of city buildings all over the world are taking climate change and rising sea level seriously.

  • This hands-on activity is a kinesthetic game illustrating the dynamics of the carbon cycle. Acting as carbon atoms, students travel from one carbon reservoir to another. At each reservoir they determine, by rolling dice, how long they stay in the res...

  • In this interactive, students can investigate a typical hydrogen fuel cell prototype car from its fuel cell stacks to its ultracapacitor, a kind of supplementary power source. The limited-production vehicle seen in this feature is a Honda 2005 FC...

  • In this activity, students conduct a life cycle assessment of energy used and produced in ethanol production, and a life cycle assessment of carbon dioxide used and produced in ethanol production.

  • This suite of short video clips is part of a series produced by the Switch Energy project. There are several video segments that discuss different perspectives of biofuels as a renewable source of energy.

  • This short activity provides a way to improve understanding of a frequently-published diagram of global carbon pools and fluxes. Students create a scaled 3-D visual of carbon reservoirs and the movement of carbon between reservoirs.

  • In this hands-on activity, students explore whether rooftop gardens are a viable option for combating the urban heat island effect. The guiding question is: Can rooftop gardens reduce the temperature inside and outside of houses?

  • This short video is an excerpt from the longer video Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification, produced by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). This short version summarizes the science of ocean acidification as well as the so...

  • In this hands-on activity, students examine how the orientation of a photovoltaic (PV) panel -- relative to the position of the sun -- affects the energy-efficiency of the panel.

  • This online activity challenges students to design a renewable energy system for one of five different cities, each with different energy resource potential and budgets. Students can test their designs using real-time weather data in each city.

  • From TeachEngineering - To increase students' awareness of possible invisible pollutants in drinking water sources, students perform an exciting lab requiring them to think about how solutions and mixtures exist even in unsuspecting places such as in...

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.