ALEX Lesson Plan


Name That Change! (Physical and Chemical Changes)

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Paula Pippen
System: Huntsville City
School: Huntsville City Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 7023


Name That Change! (Physical and Chemical Changes)


This lesson teaches students to distinguish between physical and chemical changes. Students will view an interactive slideshow presentation and then conduct experiments to discern physical and chemical changes.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (3)
2. Identify physical and chemical changes of matter.
physical—chopping wood,
chemical—burning wood
SC2015 (5)
2. Investigate matter to provide mathematical evidence, including graphs, to show that regardless of the type of reaction (e.g., new substance forming due to dissolving or mixing) or change (e.g., phase change) that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of the matter is conserved.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will define the terms “physical change” and “chemical change”. Students will distinguish physical and chemical changes and cite examples of both types of changes.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will safely conduct scientific experiments. Students will use observation skills and a scientific instrument during experiments.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Teacher materials: Index cards labeled with various physical changes (e.g.-size, shape, color, texture, etc.), dry-erase or chalkboard, dry-erase marker or chalk, ball of clay
Student materials/equipment (per pair of students): 2 clear plastic cups (8 oz.), 2 teaspoons, baking soda, vinegar, sugar, observation sheet, pencil, 1 magnifying lens (optional) Safety Precaution: Before beginning the experiments, remind students to refrain from using their sense of taste!

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer, PowerPoint software or PowerPoint Viewer (free download), computer, and projection device, such as LCD projector or TV scan converter


Students should be familiar with the concept of matter and the properties of matter (e.g.-size, shape, color, texture, etc.) Students should be familiar with the states of matter. Students should be able to properly use a magnifying lens for scientific investigation.
Teacher Preparation: For each student pair, label one cup “vinegar and baking soda” and the other “vinegar and sugar”.

1.)Hold up a ball of clay. Ask the students to describe the various ways the matter can be described. Display the property words (index cards) on the board. Challenge the students to brainstorm ways in which the properties of the ball of clay can be changed. On the board, denote the suggested properties. Explain to the students that there are two types of changes that matter can undergo: physical or chemical. Lead them to conclude that only physical changes were described.

2.)Students view and discuss teacher prepared PowerPoint presentation, slides 1-7.

3.)Distribute the following materials to each pair of students: 2 observation sheets, 2 clear plastic cups (labeled), 2 plastic teaspoons, 1 magnifying lens, vinegar, baking soda, and sugar.

4.)Students will perform the experiments as outlined on the observation sheet. In addition, students will provide a written explanation as to whether a physical or chemical change has occurred.

5.)The students' findings and explanations are discussed. Lead students to conclude that the vinegar and sugar combination was merely a physical change, but the vinegar and baking soda caused a chemical change.

6.)Allow the students to participate in “Name That Change!” challenge (PowerPoint slides 8-end)

7.)Administer the “Name That Change!” assessment (see attachment).

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Assessment Strategies

A quiz will be used for assessment (see attachment).





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.