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Chemical Reactions Lesson

Chemical Reactions Lesson

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Published by sciencebus
Students learn about chemical reactions and the scientific method. Some cool demonstrations and experimentation with baking soda and vinegar.
Students learn about chemical reactions and the scientific method. Some cool demonstrations and experimentation with baking soda and vinegar.

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Published by: sciencebus on May 19, 2009
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11/04/2012

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 Last updated on March 6, 2008 at 5:00AM 
 Chemical and Physical Reactions Lesson
Part 1: Theory on Physical and Chemical Reactions
What is the difference between a physical and a chemical reaction?Try to move through part one pretty quickly, especially the groups with shorter sessions.There’s a lot to be done when the kids get to do their own experiments.1.
 
Ask the students to define chemical and physical reactions. Write their suggestions on the board and then write the following definitions:a.
 
Physical Reactions:
A physical reaction is a change in shape, size or temperature of something where after the change, the material still hasthe same properties. b.
 
Chemical Reactions:
Chemical reactions are changes that involve breaking up
reactant
molecules to make new,
product
molecules.Make sure to use these terms, in your explanation. Spend some timetalking about how reactants and products are what go into and comeout of chemical reactions.2.
 
Ask for examples of physical and chemical reactions and start a list on the board of their thoughts
 
Prompt them with ideas such as:
Physical Reactions
 
Chemical Reactions
 Ice/wax melting Paper burningCrushing a can with your foot Bread rising
 
For physical reactions: Have the students look at their examples tohelp them think of definitions. What are the properties of a can before and after it is crushed? Is it still aluminum? Were thealuminum boats they made last week the same material in anyshape? They look different, but they’re still made up of the samething.
 
For chemical reactions: Note to the students that in this sort of reaction the resulting product is not the same substance as thestarting product. This can often be seen in a significant change inappearance between the reactant and product (like paper and burned paper) in a chemical reaction, although in some cases the product of a chemical reaction can look like the reactant eventhough it is now some other substance.3.
 
 Next, drive the distinction between physical and chemical reactions home byhaving the students try to explain why melting and burning are different
 
 Last updated on March 6, 2008 at 5:00AM 
 a.
 
Burning involves changing the material’s structure. May want tomention here that burning it is a reaction with oxygen since we willtalk about that later on in one of the demonstrations. You can alsomention that burning results in the creation of carbon dioxide andwater. The students should be familiar with both of these products. b.
 
Melting simply changes the shape the material is in. May want toremind the students of the physical states (solid, liquid, gas, and plasma which is more difficult to explain) which they will have likelyleaned in class, since it is part of the California science standards for elementary school students (plasma is not part of the standards, butyou can explain it by telling the students that plasma is a gas thatdoesn’t behave like normal gases, and that the sun and stars for example, are made up of plasma).4.
 
 Now tell the students that you will conduct 2 experiments in the front of classto demonstrate chemical and physical reactions. Tell them one of thereactions you will show them is physical and one is chemical, and ask thestudents after you do each one what reaction, chemical or physical, they guesseach to be. Don’t reveal the correct answers until you have performed bothexperiments.
Experiment 1:
 Supplies: 1-filter flask (or Erlenmeyer or beaker, or any completelytransparent container), dry ice, paper towel to cover the lidPlace the dry ice into the transparent container and cover the top. Ask the students to describe what is happening. Take off the paper towel towatch the subliming gas rush out of the opening. Ask the students:Was this a physical or chemical reaction? What is happening here?What state if the dry ice in? What state is the fog in? Let the studentstake a guess and record the results on the board. Ask a few students toexplain their hypothesis as to whether the reaction with the dry ice is physical or chemical.
Experiment 2:
Supplies: 1-large Erlenmeyer flask (500 mL) with tight fitting rubber stopper, 250 mL tap water, 2.5 g glucose, 2.5 g NaOH, 1 mL of 0.1%methylene blue (percentage by weight or volume; it doesn’t matter since the concentration is so low)1.
 
Add 250 mL of tap water to Erlenmeyer flask.2.
 
Dissolve 2.5 g of glucose in the flask 3.
 
Dissolve 2.5 g of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in flask 4.
 
Add ~1 ml of 0.1% methylene blue to the flask.
 
 Last updated on March 6, 2008 at 5:00AM 
 5.
 
Stopper the flask and shake to dissolve the dye. The resultingsolution will be blue.6.
 
Set the flasks aside (this is a good time to explain the chemistry of the demonstration at a high level since the students are likely notfamiliar with molecules and bonds). The liquid will gradually become colorless as glucose is oxidized by the dissolved oxygen(the students will be amazed, by this colorful change). A thin blue boundary can be expected to remain at the solution-air interface,since oxygen remains available via diffusion so don’t worry if yousee blue at the liquid-air boundary, since the students in the classlikely won’t be able to see it from their desks (if they do see it youcan discuss why they see it in terms of the oxygen which reinforcesthe learning goal for this part of the lesson).7.
 
The blue color of the solutions can be restored by swirling or shaking the contents of the flask, which you should do (thestudents will once again be amazed by this colorful change).8.
 
The reaction can be repeated several times.Demonstrate the reaction. You should have the solution ready with theglucose and sodium hydroxide dissolved in the water. Then for thedemonstration you can add the methylene blue to the flask, stopper,and swirl. The students will see the color change. Then have themcontinue to watch to see as the color fades.Was this a physical or chemical reaction? Let the students guess, andrecord the votes on the board. Ask the students what they think happened in the flask. Why did it turn blue? Why did it return to clear?What is in the flask? What happens when I shake it? Why do you think it changes color when I shake it up?Shake the flask again and watch as it turns blue once more and thenfades.
Explanation of the chemistry involved for the tutors:
 
In this reaction glucose is slowly oxidized by O
2
to form gluconic acid. The gluconicacid is then converted to gluconate in the presence of NaOH. Methylene blue speedsup this reaction by acting as an oxygen transfer agent. By oxidizing glucose,methylene blue is itself reduced (forming leucomethylene blue), and becomescolorless. If there is sufficient available oxygen (from air), leucomethylene blue is re-oxidized and the blue color of solution can be restored. Upon standing, glucosereduces the methylene blue dye and the color of the solution disappears.

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