Pedagogical approaches

Classroom resources featuring activities from our Pedagogical Approaches to Chemistry Teaching professional development course for teachers

This collection is most valuable to those who have attended this course and wish to put into practice with their students some of the ideas and activities presented as part of that event. Please note that this list is not exhaustive; not all trainer activities have a corresponding classroom resource. In some circumstances there is variation between the training resource and classroom resource.

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Flame tests (the wooden splint method)

The method described in this experiment is intended for students to carry out and avoids the need for the use of concentrated hydrochloric acid. It also avoids the cost and contamination problems associated with the use of nichrome or platinum wires.

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The fractional distillation of crude oil

In association with

This experiment simulates the industrial fractional distillation of crude oil in the laboratory.

Bucket of water

Easier equilibrium

How bailing buckets can support students’ grasp of Le Chatelier’s principle

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Polythene

In association with

An introduction to polythene production.

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Alchemy: nylon

In association with

An introduction to nylon production.

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AfL: What happens when a substance changes state?

Assessment for Learning is an effective way of actively involving students in their learning. Each session plan comes with suggestions about how to organise activities and worksheets that may be used with students.

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Chemical stability

Chemistry is a conceptual subject and, in order to explain many of these concepts, teachers use models to describe and explain the microscopic world and relate it to the macroscopic properties of matter. This resource is designed to provide strategies for dealing with some of the misconceptions that students have ...

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Aluminium Extraction

In association with

 An introduction to aluminium extraction.

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Fractional distillation

In association with

Learn how the industrial process of fractional distillation transforms crude oil into a variety of products, from plane fuel to road surfacing.

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Ammonia

In association with

An introduction to ammonia.

Ocean wave

Chemistry of the oceans

A booklet aimed at students aged between 14 and 16 years. The text is supported by questions, tables of data and diagrams.

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Addition polymerisation

In association with

Alkenes (carbon compounds containing double bonds) undergo addition reactions. In this experiment molecules of phenylethene (styrene) – the monomer – add on to each other to form polyphenylethene (polystyrene) - the polymer.

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Polymer puzzles

This activity is designed to develop the students’ higher order thinking – particularly critical thinking skills – in the context of problem solving. It should help students to recall the facts about some common polymers.

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Extracting metals from rocks

In association with

This experiment involves producing copper from copper ore (malachite). The composition of malachite is mainly copper(II) carbonate CuCO3.Cu(OH)2. This experiment involves heating the copper(II) carbonate with carbon.

Nylon thread

Making nylon: the ‘nylon rope trick’

Perform this ‘trick’ with a solution of decanedioyl dichloride in cyclohexane floated on an aqueous solution of 1,6-diaminohexane. As nylon forms at the interface, it can be pulled out as fast as it is produced forming a long thread: the ‘nylon rope’.

One pence pieces

Turning copper coins into 'silver' and 'gold'

In association with

Perform something close to alchemy by dipping a ‘copper’ coin into a solution of sodium zincate in contact with zinc to make it appear silver, before holding it in a Bunsen flame for a few seconds to form an alloy of brass making it appear gold.

Copper solution soaked splint in Bunsen burner flame.

Flame colours: a demonstration

In association with

Show the flame colours of alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, and other metal salts by safely spraying sodium chloride, potassium chloride, lithium chloride, copper sulfate and ethanol through a bunsen flame.