K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn to recognize the different types of reactions.
  • identify reactants and products in a chemical reaction.
  • learn how to write and balance equations.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

270 minutes


Safety Equipment

  • Chemical resistant aprons
  • Safety goggles
  • Waste containers

Laboratory equipment

  • Beakers (fifty milliliters, six hundred milliliters)
  • Bunsen burner and sparker
  • Buret or utility clamp
  • Ceramic fiber square
  • Filter funnel and paper
  • Forceps
  • Glass plate
  • Graduated cylinder (ten or twenty-five milliliters)
  • Laboratory balance
  • Litmus paper
  • Paper towels
  • Ruler
  • Sandpaper
  • Scoopula or spatula
  • Stirring rod
  • Test tubes with rack
  • Test tube clamp
  • Textbook or solubility table
  • Wood splints


  • Solids:
    • Calcium metal
    • Calcium oxide
    • Copper strips
    • Copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate (medium crystals)
    • Magnesium ribbon
    • Potassium permanganate
    • Sodium carbonate
    • Sulfur powder
    • Zinc, mossy
    • Zinc strips
  • Aqueous solutions: (All .10 M unless otherwise indicated)
    • Aluminum chloride
    • Ammonium hydroxide (Diluted 1:3)
    • Copper (II) sulfate
    • Hydrochloric acid (3.0 M)
    • Lead (II) nitrate
    • Silver nitrate (.20 M)
    • Sodium chloride
    • Sodium iodide

Additional ELD resources

  • Pastel and neon colored paper (yellow and blue)
  • Grape jelly


Students need a working knowledge of the types of chemical reactions and laboratory safety rules.


  1. Two days (ninety minutes per day) are allotted for hands-on laboratory work by students in groups of three to four in a well-stocked chemistry laboratory. Students should follow the instructions on the Laboratory Procedure handout. The teacher will serve as facilitator only and will be available to answer questions as they arise.
  2. A third day is allotted for writing and balancing equations and completing an evaluation and analysis form. Again, students will work in groups of three to four to complete this activity with the teacher serving as facilitator.


Supplemental information

Solution preparation assistance, Laboratory Safety Rules, additional laboratory safety information, and an overview of the cooperative learning process can be found in the sidebar.


Students will work together in groups of three to four with only one English Language Learner (ELL) per group for the laboratory portion. Since the language used in the Laboratory Procedure is beyond that of the Novice High English Language Learner, non-ELLs will be responsible for reading the procedure and assisting ELLs with the hands-on portion of the laboratory experience. This is best accomplished with the assignment of cooperative learning roles (reader, recorder, facilitator, equipment manager, safety officer, etc.) by the teacher.

English Language Learners will work together to complete the modified assessment with the assistance of the teacher or a peer. Pastel and neon paper should be used to assist the learner with the concept of “bright.” Grape jelly can be used to illustrate the concept of “jelly-like” or gelatinous precipitates.

Alternative assessments

Students will complete alternate Data Tables for observed reactions, which lack the word equations.

Their evaluation document will be presented in a more simplified format.

Critical vocabulary

  • chemical reaction
  • reactants
  • products
  • allotrope
  • synthesis
  • decomposition
  • single displacement
  • double displacement
  • combustion


This activity has been designed for a four by four block schedule as follows:

  • Procedures one & two should be completed on day one
  • Procedures three & four should be completed on day two
  • Equation and evaluations should be completed on day three.

It may, of course, be edited for a traditional schedule.

Modifications have been made for ESL Novice High students. These modifications, however, may be adjusted to apply to Intermediate and Advanced ESL students. This lesson plan was developed during the English Language Development Standard Course of Study lesson planning institutes hosted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and LEARN NC, June and July, 2004. It includes specific strategies, instructional modifications, and alternative assessments, which make this lesson accessible to limited English proficient students. Please note that this lesson has been aligned with the goals and objectives of the North Carolina English Language Development standards.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Science & Technical Subjects

        • Grades 11-12
          • 11-12.LS.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
        • Grades 9-10
          • 9-10.LS.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Science (2010)
      • Chemistry

        • Chm.2.2 Analyze chemical reactions in terms of quantities, product formation, and energy. Chm.2.2.1 Explain the energy content of a chemical reaction. Chm.2.2.2 Analyze the evidence of chemical change. Chm.2.2.3 Analyze the Law of Conservation of Matter and...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Development (2005)

  • Objective 0.03: Demonstrate the ability to decode simple text.
  • Objective 0.05: Demonstrate understanding of factual comprehension questions (e.g., who, what, where, when, how).
  • Objective 0.05: Write for real-life purposes with guidance (e.g., forms and applications).
  • Objective 0.08: Recognize basic elements of organization.
  • Objective 0.12: Comprehend basic academic vocabulary through visuals and/or realia (authentic objects).
  • Science (2005)

    Grade 9–12 — Chemistry

    • Goal 5: The learner will develop an understanding of chemical reactions.
      • Objective 5.01: Evaluate various types of chemical reactions:
        • Analyze reactions by types: single replacement, double replacement (including acid-base neutralization) , decomposition, synthesis, and combustion including simple hydrocarbons.
        • Predict products.