Discover classroom strategies and activities to tackle common misconceptions in chemistry, and explore the theory behind different approaches

Chemistry is a conceptual subject. When students first encounter key concepts, they often do so through models. By describing the microscopic world and relating it to the more familiar, macroscopic properties of matter, models can be a valuable tool for teaching and learning about chemistry.

But what happens when a model breaks down? Or when a students’ everyday experiences or use of language contradicts the ideas put forward in chemical science?

This collection brings together chapters from Chemical misconceptions: Prevention, diagnosis and cure, designed to help you identify, prevent and address common misconceptions in chemistry. Originally published in two volumes, chapters range from surveying relevant theory to providing ready-to-use classroom resources. They include:

  • Approaches to teaching that may prevent students acquiring misconceptions
  • Tips and ideas to help students to develop appropriate scientific ideas
  • Targeted exercises and strategies for dealing with common misconceptions when they arise
  • Activities designed to encourage students to construct the chemical concepts they need

Find out more about how to use the resources below, or explore the collection to download all the materials for free.

Get the books

You can buy copies of both volumes of Chemical misconceptions books from our online shop. If you’re a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, you’re entitled to a 35% discount.

Buy volume 1 | Buy volume 2

How to use the resources

The resources in this collection were first published as chapters in two volumes:

  • Chapters from volume 1 focus on the theoretical background behind preventing and tackling misconceptions in chemistry. They cover a range of key topics and explore how teachers can overcome learning impediments, scaffold learning more effectively and support students to construct appropriate scientific conceptions.
  • Chapters from volume 2 feature a variety of ready-to-use classroom resources and activities linked to the ideas explored in volume 1. Each of the resources is linked to at least one theoretical chapter.

You can explore the resources from each chapter using the green ‘Chemical misconceptions’ dropdown menu, or by using the links at the bottom of the page.

Every chapter is available for download as a PDF file, accompanied by links to any related materials and theoretical background.

How to navigate the links below

  • Links 2–11 are from volume 1, and explore key concepts and theoretical background.
  • Links 12–35 are from volume 2, and include a range of classroom resources for 11–14, 14–16 and post-16 students.