Unit Plan

Topic: Chemistry

Key Words: atomic structure, periodic table, ionic, molecular, acid, base, solubility, chemical change, endothermic, exothermic, chemical equations, moles, law of conservation of mass

Time Frame: 5 weeks

Summary: This unit is designed to  introduce students to the idea of the law of conservation of mass, and how it applies to atoms and subatomic particles. Students will learn how to classify and detect chemical reactions, how to predict their products, and how the scientific process has led to greater knowledge in this field.


1. Students will understand how elements react with each other to form compounds, using atomic models as a guide.

2. Students will use their understanding of ionic and molecular bonding to explain how chemical reactions can be predicted.

3. Students will understand the law of conservation of mass, and how it applies to chemical equations, and the concept of the mole.

Essential Understandings:

  • Atoms are made of differently charged parts that interact in predictable ways.
  • By testing a substance’s properties, we can infer things about its atomic structure.
  • Chemical reactions are predictable, and can be explained through evidence.
  • There is a need for standardization when working with atoms, which is found in the quantity of the mole.
  • Mass is conserved in chemical reactions.
  • Society uses chemicals on a daily basis, but the risks and benefits of any chemical must be considered first.

Essential Questions:

  • How do the parts of atoms interact to form compounds?
  • Which properties are unique to ionic compounds, and which are unique to molecular compounds?
  • What are the different types of reactions? What type of evidence do we see from reactions?
  • How can the mole be used to increase accuracy?
  • What evidence do we have that mass is conserved?
  • What chemicals are commonly used, and what evidence do we have for their use?

Key Knowledge and Skills

Students will know… Students will be able to…
  • protons, neutrons and electrons interact to form atoms and ions
  • Use evidence to describe how atomic models have changed over time
  • ionic compounds form in specific ratios, and molecular compounds do not
  • Draw dot diagrams and structural diagrams of atoms, ions and compounds
  • IUPAC naming rules for compounds
  • Use a periodic table and ion table to form and predict compounds
  • Conductivity, pH, solubility, state
  • Identify which substances are ionic, molecular, acidic and basic, based on properties
  • Solubility
  • Use a solubility chart to predict if an ionic compound will dissolve in water
  • Properties of chemical changes
  • Determine whether a reaction has occurred, and differentiate between an exothermic and endothermic reaction
  • Formation, decomposition, double replacement, single replacement and combustion type reactions
  • Write and predict the products of chemical reactions, including balancing and indicating state
  • The mole, Avogadro’s number, Law of Conservation of Mass
  • Use the formula n = m/n

Evidence of Understanding

Performance Task:

Winters in Canada are long, cold and snowy. Not only does that make the people grumpy, but it also makes driving and walking around hazardous! Most Canadian cities have a snow removal and de-icing plan, but what do they use to de-ice the roads and sidewalks? Three of the most common substances are sodium chloride, magnesium chloride and sand or gravel. Your task is to determine which of these three compounds is the most appropriate choice? You must test how well each substance works, as well as determine other considerations such as cost and environment.

Other Evidence:

Lesson 2 – dot diagrams and self check


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