ALEX Lesson Plan


Chemical Reactions

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Charles Aggen
System: Mobile County
School: Mobile County Board Of Education
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34522


Chemical Reactions


This lesson is designed to supplement instruction of reaction types and balancing equations. This lesson should not be used as an introduction to these topics. 

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 9-12
Physical Science
3 ) Analyze and interpret data from a simple chemical reaction or combustion reaction involving main group elements.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns
Disciplinary Core Idea: Matter and Its Interactions
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Analyze data from a simple chemical reaction or combustion reaction.
  • Interpret data from a simple chemical reaction or combustion reaction.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Products
  • Reactants
  • Reaction
  • Single replacement
  • Double replacement
  • Synthesis
  • Decomposition
  • Combustion
  • Chemical formula
  • solutions
  • Solutes
  • Solvents
  • Chemical reactions
  • Ions
  • ionic compounds
Students know:
  • The total number of atoms of each element in the reactant and products is the same.
  • The numbers and types of bonds (ionic, covalent) that each atom forms are determined by the outermost (valence) electron states and the electronegativity.
  • The outermost (valence) electron state of the atoms that make up both the reactants and the products of the reaction is based on the atom's position in the periodic table.
Students are able to:
  • Interpret data to determine the type of chemical reaction.
  • Analyze data to determine the patterns for each type of chemical reaction.
  • Balance simple chemical equations.
  • Write simple binary compound formulas and names.
Students understand that:
  • The fact that atoms are conserved, together with knowledge of the chemical properties of the elements involved, can be used to describe and predict chemical reactions.
  • There is a causal relationship between the observable macroscopic patterns of reactivity of elements in the periodic table and the patterns of outermost electrons for each atom and its relative electronegativity.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Chemistry Module:
Evidence of a Chemical Reactions

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will be able to predict products from known reactants.
  • Students will be able to predict products and balance equations while also gaining laboratory knowledge and experience using novel chemicals. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Safety: Follow all chemical warning labels. Follow your local regulations for chemical waste disposal. Always wear goggles and other safety equipment when handling chemicals. 

Materials: Obtain test tubes, wire cutters, test tube racks, 150-300mL Erlenmeyer Flasks, wax pencils, beakers or weighing trays to hold solid chemicals, and a proper waste container.

Obtain the following chemicals:

  • Copper (s) wire (or ribbon if wire is not available)
  •  Silver Nitrate (aq)
  • Lead (II) Nitrate (aq)
  • Sodium Iodide (aq)
  • Zinc (s)
  • Copper (II) Sulfate (aq)

If aqueous solutions are not readily available they can be prepared following these guidelines

Technology Resources Needed:



Background: This lesson is meant to supplement lessons on balancing equations and reaction types. Students should have knowledge of these topics prior starting this lesson. This video has a very simple explanation of reactions types that are relevant to this lesson and can be a great refresher prior to starting the lesson. 

Preparation: Prior to beginning this lesson the instructor must prepare all chemicals and supplies. 

  • 10-20 pieces of copper wire should be cut into strips no longer than 3-4 inches placed in beaker or other easy access storage container
  • 1 flask with 200-250 mL .2M Silver Nitrate (aq) 
  • 1 flask with 200-250 mL .1M Lead (II) Nitrate (aq)
  • 1 flask with 200-250 mL .1M Sodium Iodide (aq)
  • 20-40 zinc pellets placed in a beaker or other easy access storage container
  • 1 flask with 200-250 mL .1M Copper (II) Sulfate (aq)

Prepare enough clean and dry test tubes for each group (3-4 students) to obtain 1 test tube of each solution. Have weighing trays or another small storage containers for students to carry the solids back to their work stations in. Each group will need a test tube rack to hold their chemicals in. Every student will need at minimum goggles in addition to any other additional safety equipment required by your local regulations. This lesson must be carried out in a well-ventilated space. Wax pencils should be made available to the students to mark their test tubes with the chemical they contain. All flasks containing chemicals should also be labeled with the chemical formula not the common name with a wax pencil. 


Prior to starting this lesson students should be issued goggles. No chemicals should be handled by anyone without using proper safety equipment first. 

  1. Divide students into groups of 3-4. Make sure students divide tasks. Jobs students should have are 1) Observer   2) Recorder  3) an individual to obtain and label chemicals. 
  2. Students should create their own data tables that include chemicals being mixed, observations, and a space for a balanced reaction. Instructors should offer minimal assistance in generating data tables. 
  3. Each group should have 1 test tube rack and enough clean and dry test tubes for aqueous chemical being used
  4. Students will obtain 10-20 mL of each aqueous chemical and label the test tube appropriately. 
  5. Students will need 2-3 zinc pellets
  6. Students will need 1 copper strip 
  7. Once all supplies are gathered students will mix the following chemicals one at a time while making and recording careful observations:
  • Silver Nitrate + Copper wire
  • Sodium Iodide + Lead (II) Nitrate
  • Copper (II) Sulfate + 2-3 Zinc pellets

After students have finished with their chemicals they should be instructed in the proper disposal methods. As a group, they should work together to determine the correct balanced formula for the reactions they observed in addition to identifying the products formed. 

Assign each group a reaction type and have them investigate where they experience these reactions in everyday life. Examples would include the oxidation of a penny or a car rusting. 

Have the group create a presentation to share with the whole class.


Assessment Strategies

The data tables generated by the students with the correct balanced equations will be used as a formative assessment of their understanding of the lesson. 




Groups or individuals that are unable to complete the assessment may need an additional lesson in balancing equations and predicting products. This can be done with a 15-20 minute lecture and demonstration of these concepts. 

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.