Day 2 The Chemical Side of Matter

4 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT recognize how temperature affects the rate of a chemical reaction.

Big Idea

Students will use data to create a graph and a written analysis showing how increased temperatures affect the rate of a chemical reaction.

Lesson Overview

5e Lesson Plan Model

Many of my science lessons are based upon and taught using the 5E lesson plan model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. This lesson plan model allows me to incorporate a variety of learning opportunities and strategies for students.  With multiple learning experiences, students can gain new ideas, demonstrate thinking, draw conclusions, develop critical thinking skills, and interact with peers through discussions and hands-on activities.  With each stage in this lesson model, I select strategies that will serve students best for the concepts and content being delivered to them.  These strategies were selected for this lesson to facilitate peer discussions, participation in a group activity, reflective learning practices, and accountability for learning.

Unit Focus

The Matter and Energy unit focuses on the impact of temperature and pressure on solids, liquids, and gases. Students have multiple opportunities to develop an understanding that matter cannot not be created nor destroyed, only change. Through investigations of objects and substances, students  identify materials by their properties, states, and determine if changes made to them are physical and chemical. Additionally, investigations include identifying materials that dissolve, mix, and change form and create a new substance. Students demonstrate their understanding by developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, constructing explanations, and using mathematical and computational thinking.

Lesson Synopsis

This is the second day of the Chemical Side of Matter lesson focusing on how fast chemical reactions take place with varying temperatures. In day 1 of this lesson, students investigated what happens in a chemical change.  In day 2 of this lesson, students investigate how temperature influences the speed of a chemical reaction by carrying out an investigation to recognize that chemical reactions take place faster under conditions with increased temperatures. Students make predictions, observations, and draw conclusions when substances interact with one another in waters ranging from cold, room temperature, and hot. After completing the investigation, students graph their results and write an analysis on how temperature affects a chemical reaction. I collect student notebooks to use as a formative assessment and check for student understanding.

Next Generation Science Standards  

This lesson will address the following NGSS Standard(s): 

PS 1-3 Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties. 

PS 1-4 Conduct an investigation to determine whether mixing two or more substances results in new substances.

Why do I teach with this lesson?

I teach the day 2 of the Chemical Side of Matter lesson as a guided inquiry to help students develop inquiry skills as they are investigating chemical reactions. Many of my student have very limited background in science as the elementary school's within my district do not formally teach science prior to my students entering the 5th grade (the middle school). I find it important to provide guided inquiries that build their vocabulary and understanding of concepts in order to facilitate scientific thinking for future inquiry lessons. In this lesson students investigate how temperature affects the rate of a chemical reaction. By exposing and engaging students with activities that investigate chemical reactions in matter, I am providing them with a foundation that will support their experiences in other lessons involving changes in matter and the transfer of energy in organisms.

 Scientific & Engineering Practices

Students are engaged in the following Scientific and Engineering Practices

2.) Developing and using models: Students create and use a model to illustrate how temperature affects the rate chemical reactions.

3.) Planning and Carrying Out Investigations: Students investigate how matter chemically reacts to varying temperatures. They use the data to graph the reaction times and as evidence for writing an explanation about temperature affecting the speed of a chemical reaction.

Crosscutting Concepts

The Day 2-The Chemical Side of Matter lesson will correlate to other interdisciplinary areas.  These Crosscutting Concepts include:

2.) Cause and Effect:  Students observe and measure the effects and rate of chemical reactions to explain how two or more substances change into a new irreversible form of matter.

5.) Energy and Matter: Students learn that matter is made of particles that chemically react to increased temperatures.  By measuring the temperature during a chemical reaction, it can be determined if energy is lost or gained within that reaction.  

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Disciplinary Core Ideas within this lesson include:

PS1.A Structure of Matter:  Matter of any type can be subdivided into particles that are too small to see, but even then the matter still exists and can be detected by other means.  A model showing that gases are made from the matter of particles that are too small to see and are moving freely around in space can explain many observations.


Classroom Management

Importance of Modeling to Develop Student 

Responsibility, Accountability, and Independence 

Depending upon the time of year, this lesson is taught, teachers should consider modeling how groups should work together; establish group norms for activities, class discussions, and partner talks.  In addition, it is important to model think aloud strategies.  This sets up students to be more expressive and develop thinking skills during an activity.  The first half of the year, I model what group work and/or talks “look like and sound like.”  I intervene the moment students are off task with reminders and redirecting.  By the second and last half of the year, I am able to ask students, “Who can give of three reminders for group activities to be successful?” Who can tell us two reminders for partner talks?”  Students take responsibility for becoming successful learners.  Again before teaching this lesson, consider the time of year, it may be necessary to do a lot of front loading to get students to eventually become more independent and transition through the lessons in a timely manner.


For time management purposes, I use “lab rats roles” I introduce these roles this at the beginning of the year. I model each role and provide students' opportunities to practice each role with a group during an investigation or lab.  It has proven successful within my classroom keeping students engaged and on task.

Each student has a number on the back of his or her chair, 1,2,3,4 (students sit in groups of 4)and displayed on the board.  For each explore activity, I switch up the roles randomly so students are experiencing different task responsibilities which include: Director, Materials Manager, Reporter, and Technician.  It makes for smooth transitions and efficiency for set up, work, and clean-up. 


35 minutes

Before we begin our next inquiry, I remind students that in yesterday's investigation, we discovered that chemical reactions in matter can affect the overall temperature of a substance.  Then I share that we are now further investigating how temperature affects the reaction rate when substances are combined.  I move students' attention to the standards board and call on one students to read it aloud:

"Today we will explore how temperature affects the reaction rate of a chemical reaction by conducting an investigation using different temperatures of water when combining substances."

After reading it out loud, I bring their attention to the materials on each groups tray: 3 cups, water at different temperatures (iced, room, and warm), a thermometer, and 3 Alka Seltzer tablets. I use the alka seltzer and varying water temperatures because when they combine, they produce the same chemical reactions but at different rates.

Guided Inquire

I hand out the procedure card and a data table and review their task.

I encourage students to write predictions by asking them, "Which reaction will occur the fastest and slowest, and why?"  I give them a sentence frame to organize their prediction: I predict the _________________ will react the fastest because ______________________..."

       student prediction    student prediction 


A sentence frame helps all students, including my English language learners and special education students, to organize their thoughts in a clear and precise way while developing scientific thinking.

As students are working through the procedure, I walk around monitoring groupschecking in, and making sure everyone is actively participating. I check data tables to note accuracy with temperature readings and recorded times.



25 minutes

I explain to my students that they will now report the data by making a bar graph to show the reaction times at different temperatures.

Graphing Our Results  

I hand out the graph and have them paste it in their interactive notebook next to their data table. Then, I review the directions with the class. "Thinking about the different reaction rates you observed, you are creating a graph to display the reaction times at different temperatures."  I point out the information on the x and y axis' to make sure everyone is clear on how to organize their data.  I use a bar graph because students have previous experience with them from fourth grade.

Analyzing the Data

Once they create the graph, I instruct them to do an analysis of the information displayed and respond to the question:  How does temperature affect how long a chemical reaction takes? Students work on the graph and response for the remainder of the class time and becomes homework if it is not completed by the end of the class.  The next day I collect their notebooks. I am looking for students to explain how the higher a temperature, the faster a chemical reaction will occur.