Carolina Biological OSE - December 2023


Forums / Chemistry / Starting the year


Starting the year

Author Post
Bradley Clark Bradley Clark 190 Points

This will be my second year of teaching. Does anyone have any ideas on some fun activities to start the year that will get my students excited about chemistry? I am teach high school chem.

Justen Hug Justen Hug 505 Points

I remember when I was in High School I took Chemistry my junior year and my I really liked my teacher. He was very organized in his lessons and explained the element process in a simple way that wasn't overbearing. He scaffolded basic chemistry throughout the semester. We started out with simple elements and progressed through the semester with various elements and more difficult chemical components. I know from other people that have taken chemistry, they had to memorize the whole periodic table, I think that is a little much. He would have us work with the periodic table daily to where we were able to understand most of the periodic table and it's elements by the end of the semester. Obviously, experiments help, my teacher had multitude of experiments. But, he also used manipulatives for the visual and aesthetic learners. Every day he would have us do a small worksheet, yes it was a bit mundane, but the basic level of chemistry is just simple math, and the worksheets helped me comprehend how atoms and elements form and whatnot. Through in some online database stuff, videos, experiments, and some worksheets, and you should do fine.

Justen Hug Justen Hug 505 Points

I just remembered a really interesting experiment my chemistry teacher did, was making an oobleck. We made a simple one with corn starch and water. Then correlate the oobleck to a standard and ask questions about the consistency, etc. Explain how and why the oobleck is a solid but can also have a liquid substance.

Emily Faulconer Emily Faulconer 5745 Points

Demonstrations are always good attention-getters! 

What are your favorites? I love what I call 'age abe' where I paint clear nail polish on a very clean penny except for the beard and hair, then place it in silver nitrate solution. 

Madeline Henderson Madeline Henderson 285 Points

I don't have any ideas currently on activities to do with high school students, but with my personal experience I would suggest lots of experiments. These are fun to watch and create visuals to go along with lectures. 

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