Developing and using models

Classroom resources featuring activities from our Developing and Using Models 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.

Resources

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The atom detectives

This resource presents chemists as real people and not stereotypical ‘mad scientists’ whose lives are completely dominated by science.

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A microscale study of gas diffusion

Observe the diffusion of the gases ammonia and chlorine, and their relative rates as a function of molecular weight

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Black box

The nature of science resources try to give students an awareness of science as a changing body of knowledge. This resource contains activities for students which help them understand the difference between observation and inference, and how to interpret patterns.

Ammonia tank

Diffusion of gases: ammonia and hydrogen chloride

In association with

A demonstration to show the diffusion of gases, using ammonia solution and hydrochloric acid. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

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A solid-solid reaction between lead nitrate and potassium iodide

In association with

Prove that two solids can react together by using white lead nitrate and white potassium iodide to make yellow lead iodide.

A picture showing molecular models built out of plasticine and cotton buds

Reasons to craft your own molecular models

And how to get the most out of them

An image showing a triangle on which two of the sides are made out of stairs; on the top of a triangle there is a fire, on the bottom left, a chemical reaction represented by space filling models is filled, and on the bottom right, the chemical reaction o

Develop deeper understanding with models

How to bridge the gap between the ‘seen’ science and the ‘unseen’ explanation

An image showing a teacher surrounded by students, sitting inside a structure that resembles the structure of a 5-membered ring

How to teach scientific models

Be explicit when explaining models and their purpose

An image showing a male teacher holding a piece of paper with the structure of methane on it, a methane ball and stick molecular model, and thinking about an alternative model view; the blackboard behind shows the chemical formula of methane

Reflect on your use of models

Use scientific models effectively

Students and teacher using computers

Un-muddling models

How to use models in the classroom more effectively

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Elements, compounds and mixtures

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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Mass and dissolving

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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Ionic Su Doku

This activity gives students practice at working out formulae in a problem solving context.

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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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Diffusion of gases – a safer alternative to bromine

Demonstration of the diffusion of gases.

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Diffusion in liquids

In association with

Demonstrate the diffusion that takes place in liquids using colourless crystals of lead nitrate and potassium iodide at opposite sides of a petri dish of deionised water.

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Heating Group 1 metals in air and in chlorine

In association with

This is a demonstration that shows the reactions of Group 1 metals in air and in chlorine.  It does not clearly show the trends in reactivity of Group 1 metals, which are better demonstrated by the reactions in water, which follow on well from this demonstration.

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Bonding models

This activity gets the students to think of the model they have been taught as a model rather than the truth.

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Changes in chemistry

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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Spot the bonding

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 ...