Exploring Chemistry in Our World


Teacher's Manual Features

Student Workbook

Teacher's Manual

Unit Review

Additional Material

PowerPoint Presentation

  • 100 pages, perfect bound
  • General Information—overview of the purposes of the unit
  • List of Objectives
  • "Teacher Notes" with suggestions for teaching strategies
  • Correlated to exercises found in Labs & Worksheets
  • Included on the Teacher Component disc as Word files

Below is an excerpt from Unit A of the Teacher's Manual

Unit A – Matter, Energy, and the Periodic Table

General Information:

While much of Unit A is a review of things learned by students in earlier classes, it would be a huge mistake to assume that the students know the information and are just reviewing. In some cases, the previous program lacked the material. In other cases, students had the concepts and covered the material, but did not understand what they were doing. A few will find this first unit to be quite easy. In any case, since this unit represents the beginning of the study of chemistry, it is important to be sure that all the students start out with the same knowledge background. Do not dwell at great length on any topic. It is important to tell the students that each of the sections will be discussed in greater depth in subsequent units as the school year progresses.

Although we may wish that our students would become excited and interested enough in chemistry to take further courses in high school, college, or university, this class may be their only encounter with chemistry. Experience with this program will give the student a fundamental and practical outlook on the world of chemistry. It is not intended to be a highly rigorous course in which only the scientifically gifted will succeed.


  • List the family name and properties for Groups 1A, 2A, 7A and 8A.
  • Recognize and/or graph the new properties for groups and periods in the periodic table.
  • List the distinguishing properties of metals and nonmetals.
  • Use the periodic table to determine whether an element is a metal, metalloid, or a nonmetal.
  • List practical applications for some elements.
  • Distinguish among oxides, ores, alloys and plated elements.
  • Use the periodic table to find properties (e.g., state of matter), names, and year of discovery of the elements.
  • Recognize the difference between an observation and an interpretation.
  • List the requirements for operating safely and efficiently in the laboratory.

Teacher Notes:

A.1 What Is Chemistry?
This section gives a brief introduction to some important terms of chemistry. As a discussion starter, it may be useful to ask the students to try to explain in their own words what chemistry is without using terms such as chemical, chemical reaction, or chemistry.

A.2 Scientific Methods
Any student who has previously taken a science class will be familiar with observations, properties, and the scientific method. This section is merely a review of those concepts. You may wish to use the A.5 Mini Lab to assist with this review.

A.3 Classification (Organization) of Matter
This section is very important for the student to understand how a scientist thinks about matter and to see the interrelationships of matter. It is an introduction to many of the concepts coming up later in this unit as well as Units B, C and J. Where possible, show examples of elements, compounds, minerals, oxides, ores, alloys, and plated metals, mixtures, and colloids. There are demonstrations and labs coming up, but this is a good time for “show and tell.”

A.4 Exercises: Classification of Matter
This is a pencil-and-paper assignment to reinforce the material discussed in the last few sections. Most students will be unfamiliar with the (aq) in question #6—it means aqueous or dissolved in water. When substances are dissolved in water the resulting mixture is called a solution and is a homogeneous mixture.

Additional Material:

Demo: Safety and Efficiency in the Lab
The primary objective of this section is to familiarize the student with the safety features of your lab. Students need to know the location of the eyewash, safety shower, and first aid kit; they need to know the proper procedure during a fire drill (or fire); they need to know how to prevent an accident from occurring and what to do in the event an accident occurs. This would also be a good time to show how to use a balance properly, read a graduated cylinder, and light a Bunsen burner.

Extras for Unit A:

Did you know?
A Mesopotamian woman, Taputi-Belatekallim, recorded the earliest examples of chemistry around 1200 BC, when she wrote about cosmetic preparations.

Try to find out:
Can you find examples of something that is matter and something that is not?

Go to http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/environmental/household.html for a guide to handling household chemicals from Environmentalchemistry.com, to make one's home safer.