As most of you already know, the atom is composed of 3 subatomic particles -- protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons carry positive electric charge and a mass of 1 atomic mass unit (amu). Neutrons have no electric charge and a mass of 1 amu. Electrons carry 1 negative electric charge and almost no mass (1/1836 amu).
Students can use the Periodic Table to determine this information, and it's really basic for the Chemistry student to be able to determine this information.
Here's an introductory worksheet:
Isotopes are atoms of different masses because the number of neutrons is different. This is where symbol notation is handy, and important for students to be able to read.
Changing the number of electrons affect the electric charge of the atom and forms an ion, an electrically charged particle.
Eventually students can look up or memorize ion charges (which helps in formula writing). At this stage, they may just be learning basic skills.
Here's one "quiz" -- but I think it's more of a test:
I didn't use online quizzes during my classroom teaching days, but computers are typically in the home or available at the library -- let me know your experiences with using them! Since photocopying budgets can be limited, online assignments are useful. I'd love to hear how you've used them as well!
BTW, I just found this bank of chemistry quizzes and tests --it might be helpful!
A typical introductory chemistry laboratory is the performance of Flame Tests on various chemicals. Teach laboratory safety before using Bunsen Burners, and you might have completed a lab on using the Bunsen burner first! I'll talk about the burner separately at one point.
Here's a brief video showing several examples:
Here's one lab:
It's a little long, but provides a basic overview of what's involved.
Instead of using and cleaning the spatula involved, I have used wooden splints, a new one for each substance. Students need to be reminded not to set the splints on fire! Some will, but remind students that setting the splints on fire is not the goal.
Also, I've performed this lab with the various substances in solution instead of the solid salt. It did make it easier to prepare several lab stations, but it was important not to get the solutions mixed up!
Here's one example:
Here's the flame test lab completely online, which could be used for review or if supplies / facilities are limited:
Check out my lab book "Chemistry on a Budget" at amazon.com:
Each lab is presented with two possible report formats -- both with the same procedure -- one with 10 questions to be answered as a conclusion, the other with a full laboratory report required. This was to give the teacher the option of what type of report is desired!
*I'd love to hear from you! Tell me about your lab experiences, ask your questions, or share if you have ideas for other topics for this blog.
Have a good week!