A selection of resources and activities to use remotely with your 14–16 classes

An image showing a 14-16 sign

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Acids, bases and pH

This interactive pH simulation allows students to explore the different parameters that affect pH: you can add a variety of common solutions, modify the concentration and see the effects. There is also an acid-base solutions simulation, which students can use to explore how concentration and strength affect pH. Set students questions on pH, as well as acid/base strength and concentration to explore and answer using the simulation.

You could pair these simulations with these concept linking activities, which come in different ability levels, or this revision map activity.

Acids, bases and pH

The PhET interactive simulations (rsc.li/3eCy54F) include a pH basics simulation which allows students to explore the different parameters that affect pH: you can add a variety of common solutions, modify the concentration and see the effects. There is also an acid-base solutions simulation that students can use to explore how concentration and strength affect pH. Set students questions on pH, as well as acid/base strength and concentration to explore and answer using the simulation.

You could pair these simulations with these concept linking activities (rsc.li/3czl5Lp), which come in different ability levels, or this revision map activity (rsc.li/3cCxrlS).

Materials and energy: Top of the bench

Top of the bench past papers are available online with answers – for example, try these two on materials and energy. Have your students complete the papers either with or without their books. In an open-exam-style activity, you could challenge them to write model answers, swap these with another student and mark each others’ answers.

Scientific literacy

Use the worksheet that comes with the Education in Chemistry article Closing the word gap to support students’ literacy skills. It can be used as a homework or plenary task that tests pupils’ understanding of basic definitions they will require. The definitions have to be unscrambled, meaning students have to work out the answers themselves from the worksheet rather than just looking up the definitions passively. Answers can be gone over in online class or can be distributed to students after a certain period of time to ensure that they have got the definitions correct.

You could also have students complete a selection of Frayer model worksheets to work on their understanding of scientific concepts linking to a specific topic, eg separation techniques. These can also work well for EAL students. Indeed, the resources from the articles associated with rule 6 of the EEF’s 7 simple rules (Language of science) can all be helpful with building scientific literacy. For example, you can use this worksheet to help students learn to decode scientific vocabulary by breaking it down – and you can even read a teacher’s experience with the technique here.

Scientific literacy

Use the worksheet that comes with the Education in Chemistry article ‘Closing the word gap’ to support students’ literacy skills (rsc.li/2RXg9YW). It can be used as a homework or plenary task that tests pupils’ understanding of basic definitions they will require. The definitions have to be unscrambled, meaning students have to work out the answers themselves from the worksheet rather than just looking up the definitions passively. Answers can be gone over in online class or can be distributed to students after a certain period of time to ensure that they have got the definitions correct.

You could also have students complete a selection of Frayer model worksheets to work on their understanding of scientific concepts linking to a specific topic, eg separation techniques. (Find templates here: rsc.li/3eI0rue) These can also work well for EAL students. Indeed, the resources from the articles associated with rule 6 of the EEF’s 7 simple rules (Language of science) can all be helpful with building scientific literacy (rsc.li/3ezJkel). For example, you can find a worksheet to help students learn to decode scientific vocabulary by breaking it down (rsc.li/3cx8nN2) – and you can even read a teacher’s experience with the technique on page 28 of this issue.

Crude oil

The set of Education in Chemistry resources Alchemy: oil refining includes a video and a range of worksheets to be completed using the information from the video. Continuing with the visual theme, these videos on fractional distillation and hydrocarbons come with fact packs. You could also create your own question sheets for students to answer as they watch the video to reinforce their knowledge on the topics. In the same series, the petrol video is useful too.

To help students with information recall, you could also add in this crude oil sudoku puzzle, where they need to use logic to work out the contents of the blank squares.

Crude oil

The set of Education in Chemistry resources called ‘Alchemy: oil refining’ includes a video and a range of worksheets to be completed using the information from the video. Continuing with the visual theme, our ‘Twig World’ series (rsc.li/2VM6GVh) contains videos on fractional distillation and hydrocarbons that come accompanied by fact packs for students, as well stand-alone videos on petrol and vegetable oil as fuel. You could create your own question sheets for pupils to answer as they watch the videos to reinforce their knowledge on the topics.

To help students with information recall, you could also add in this crude oil sudoku puzzle, where they need to use logic to work out the contents of the blank squares (rsc.li/3eDHiK4).

Atoms and radioactivity

This Education in Chemistry article about Japanese element hunters comes with a selection of activities to help students improve their understanding of atomic structure and nuclear equations: a DART reading comprehension exercise, nuclear equations worksheets (at three different levels), and a data handling exercise where students produce a graph to show the relationship between the atomic number and atomic mass of the stable isotopes of the first 20 elements. It also comes with a knowledge organiser to support pupils who find it difficult to recall the patterns of nuclear decay.

And if your students have enough coins at home (a lot of us have gone contactless now), they can even try out the coin model of radioactive decay.

Atoms and radioactivity

This Education in Chemistry article about Japanese element hunters (rsc.li/2XS2ciz) comes with a selection of activities to help students improve their understanding of atomic structure and nuclear equations: a DART reading comprehension exercise, nuclear equations worksheets (at three different levels), and a data handling exercise where students produce a graph to show the relationship between the atomic number and atomic mass of the stable isotopes of the first 20 elements. It also comes with a knowledge organiser to support pupils who find it difficult to recall the patterns of nuclear decay.

And if your students have enough coins at home (a lot of us have gone contactless now), they can even try out the coin model of radioactive decay (bit.ly/2RWiaVo).

Polymers

These polymer-themed puzzles challenge higher-attaining students to understand and recall polymer and associated monomer structure and representation. This activity is designed to develop higher order thinking – particularly critical thinking skills – in the context of problem-solving. It should help students recall the facts about some common polymers. Ask pupils to complete the puzzles either individually or in teams via online meeting tools, such as Google Classroom.

You could combine these puzzles with this plastic and polymers video. Again, you could create your own question sheets on the video for students to fill in, or ask them to create their own to swap with other members of the class. Some of your students may also be interested in this article on polymers in nail varnish, which was originally published in The Mole, the RSC’s magazine for students that ceased publishing in 2015.

Polymers

These polymer-themed puzzles (rsc.li/2XT8cI3) challenge higher-attaining students to understand and recall polymer and associated monomer structure and representation. This activity is designed to develop higher order thinking – particularly critical thinking skills – in the context of problem-solving. It should help students recall the facts about some common polymers. Ask pupils to complete the puzzles either individually or in teams via online meeting tools, such as Google Classroom.

You could combine these puzzles with this plastic and polymers video (rsc.li/3cBiAYT). Again, you could create your own question sheets on the video for students to fill in, or ask them to create their own to swap with other members of the class. Some of your students may also be interested in this article on polymers in nail varnish, which was originally published in The Mole, the RSC’s magazine for students that ceased publishing in 2015 (rsc.li/3cCF4Jg).

Equilibria

This Starter for ten activity (rsc.li/3cCEPxQ) covering dynamic equilibria, Le Châtelier’s principle, and equilibria and industry can be used to check students’ understanding (and as it is editable, you can adapt it to their needs). Either share it as it is, or use it with a quiz programme such as Quizlet or Kahoot to differentiate and give multiple choice answers for scaffolding. Similarly, you can use Activity 8 in this handout (rsc.li/2xLxZqM) – a diagnostic test for equilibria to see how much students know.

Equilibria

This Starter for ten activity covering dynamic equilibria, Le Châtelier’s principle, and equilibria and industry can be used to check students’ understanding (and as it is editable, you can adapt it to their needs). Either share it as it is, or use it with a quiz programme such as Quizlet or Kahoot to differentiate and give multiple choice answers for scaffolding. Similarly, you can use Activity 8 in this handout – a diagnostic test for equilibria to see how much students know.

Basic competencies

Use these short quizzes to gauge students’ grasp of basic competencies in chemistry, maths and practicals. They will also help with the transition to 16–18 level chemistry. The quizzes test students’ ability to manipulate and use chemical equations, constructing ionic formulas, recording results and a wide range of other skills. They come in an editable format so you can adjust them to the level of your students and your specification. As with the Starter for ten above, share them as is or use them with a quiz programme such as Quizlet or Kahoot to differentiate and give multiple choice answers for scaffolding.

Maths

Have students brush up on their maths skills with the resources in our maths in chemistry articles.

Other topics

 

  • Top of the bench past papers are available online with answers – for example, try these two on materials (rsc.li/2VQA9xD) and energy (rsc.li/2VL5Kke). Have your students complete the papers either with or without their books. In an open-exam-style activity, you could challenge them to write model answers, swap these with another student and mark each others’ answers.
  • Maths: Have students brush up on their maths skills with the resources in our maths in chemistry articlesrsc.li/2VNIkuw
  • Basic competencies quizzes: Use these short quizzes to gauge students’ grasp of basic competencies in chemistry (rsc.li/3eJqMZg), maths (rsc.li/2xC2pvP and practicals (rsc.li/2VM2THx). They will also help with the transition to 16–18 level chemistry. The quizzes test students’ ability to manipulate and use chemical equations, constructing ionic formulas, recording results and a wide range of other skills. They come in an editable format so you can adjust them to the level of your students and your specification.

 

Do you have other great resources or tips for teaching 14–16 chemistry remotely? Share them with your colleagues in the comments below.