ALEX Lesson Plan


Types of Chemical Reactions and Predicting Products

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Brenda Rinehart
System: Shelby County
School: Shelby County Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 26220


Types of Chemical Reactions and Predicting Products


The guided inquiry activity enables students to identify the five basic types of reactions - synthesis or composition, decomposition, combustion, single replacement and double replacement.  Students will also begin to predict the products for each of these types of reactions. 

The activity was developed in cooperation with Michelle Holdbrooks of Thompson High School.

This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (9-12) Physical Science
4. Use nomenclature and chemical formulas to write balanced chemical equations.
  • Explaining the law of conservation of matter
  • Identifying chemical reactions as composition, decomposition, single replacement, or double replacement
  • Defining the role of electrons in chemical reactions
  • SC (9-12) Chemistry
    6. Solve stoichiometric problems involving relationships among the number of particles, moles, and masses of reactants and products in a chemical reaction.
  • Predicting ionic and covalent bond types and products given known reactants
  • Assigning oxidation numbers for individual atoms of monatomic and polyatomic ions
  • Identifying the nomenclature of ionic compounds, binary compounds, and acids
  • Classifying chemical reactions as composition, decomposition, single replacement, or double replacement
  • Determining the empirical or molecular formula for a compound using percent composition data
  • SC2015 (9-12) Physical Science
    5. Use mathematical representations to support and verify the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a simple chemical reaction.
    SC2015 (9-12) Chemistry
    5. Plan and conduct investigations to demonstrate different types of simple chemical reactions based on valence electron arrangements of the reactants and determine the quantity of products and reactants.
    a. Use mathematics and computational thinking to represent the ratio of reactants and products in terms of masses, molecules, and moles.
    b. Use mathematics and computational thinking to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.

    Local/National Standards:

    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    The students will

    (a) use picture cards to define the five types of reactions and write generic reactions for each type

    (b) match the type of reaction to actual chemical reactions

    (c) match the products to the correct reactants

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    31 to 60 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    card stock, gallon size plastic baggies, 2" x 4" labels

    The teacher will need to print the picture cards illustrating the types of reactions, the template for the example reactions, the reaction type cards, and the products cards on card stock.  It is recommended that the teacher use different color card stock for each type of card to be printed.  The picture cards should be printed on white card stock.  The printable materials can be laminated to ensure durability.  Place all the materials in the same plastic baggie and label.  This material can also be used with an interactive white board.

    Technology Resources Needed:

    computer and LCD projector

    Extension/Remediation: individual computers or group computers

    After the students have developed the definitions for the types of reactions using the picture cards and reaction type cards, the teacher can display the PowerPoint presentation about reaction types on a loop while the students continue the activity.


    The teacher will need to know the five types of reactions - synthesis or composition, decomposition, combustion, single replacement, and double replacement.  The teacher will also need to know how to predict the products for each type of reaction. Students will need to know the basic parts of chemical reactions - reactants, products, and yield.

    The major concepts are determining the types of reactions and predicting products for each type of reaction.

    1. Divide students into diverse groups. It is usually best to for students to work in pairs on this activity.
    2. Distribute the baggies containing the picture cards, reaction type cards, reaction template, and product cards.
    3. Students should place the picture cards face up on their work area. 
    4. The students, working in pairs, will match one of the types of reaction to the picture that best defines the reaction type. For example, the construction materials that form the building illustrate synthesis or composition reactions.
    5. The teacher will circulate to determine if the groups have correctly matched the type of reaction with the picture. 
    6. Groups will write a description of each type of reaction and develop a generic reaction for each type using letters A, B, C, and D. An example is A + B → AB is a synthesis or composition reaction.
    7. The teacher can then have six groups explain why the picture illustrated that type of reaction and give their generic reaction for each type.  This can be done verbally, on the board, or with an interactive board.
    8. Students will then remove the reaction template and all the reaction type cards from the plastic baggie.
    9. The teacher will begin the PowerPoint on reaction types as a loop for students to view as they match the type of reaction to an actual reaction.
    10. Students will place the reaction card beside the actual reaction on the reaction template that illustrates that type of reaction.  For example, the reaction C3H8 + O2 is a combustion reaction so the student would place the combustion reaction type card to the left of these reactants.
    11. The students will also record their answers on the activity sheet and the teacher can circulate quickly to determine if students are accurately identifying the types of reactions.
    12. At this point the activity can continue with matching the products to the appropriate reactants or direct the students to the additional practice on identifying the types of reactions.
    13. If the activity continues, the students will remove the product cards from the baggie and predict which products would be formed from the reactants.
    14. The teacher can quickly circulate through the groups to determine if the students are correctly identifying the products.  Students should record their results on the activity sheet. 
    15. Students should return all the cards to the plastic baggie.

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    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher can use the rubric


    to evaluate the progress of the students through the various levels of the activity.

    The assessment worksheet


    is an additional check of the student's understanding and can be used to evaluate individual understanding of the concept.


    Students can practice types of reactions at the following websites:

    1. Reaction type evaluation 
    2. Additional Worksheet - with answers



    The reaction type study cards can be printed for the students who need additional assistance with reaction types and predicting products. 

    Students can also review the material using the following websites:

    1. Reaction type evaluation
    2. Additional  Worksheet - with answers

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.