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Chemistry is a difficult subject for students to understand because its core concepts—atoms, molecules, and chemical bonds—cannot be directly observed. Students primarily learn chemistry through their senses and do not distinguish between explanations at different conceptual levels. In the activity described here, modeling clay is used as an instructional tool to help students formulate physical explanations for chemical events. In addition, a learning cycle approach to balancing equations helps students understand how substances change in a chemical reaction.

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Type Journal ArticlePub Date 3/1/2004Stock # tst04_071_03_29Volume 071Issue 03

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