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Outstanding GCSE and A level chemistry resources

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Having taught GCSE and A level chemistry for 6 years and being an examiner I have developed a solid understanding of what makes a lesson outstanding and seek to share this with other teachers.

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Having taught GCSE and A level chemistry for 6 years and being an examiner I have developed a solid understanding of what makes a lesson outstanding and seek to share this with other teachers.
Born Haber cycle construction for ionic compounds - AS Chemistry - outstanding lesson
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Born Haber cycle construction for ionic compounds - AS Chemistry - outstanding lesson

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This is a thoroughly planned lesson with assessment and activities on constructing Born Haber cycles for ionic compounds. The starter recaps enthalpy of formation and so this is required learning from the lessons before. The first main activity uses the enthalpy changes card sort. This checks the students understanding of lattice enthalpy, ionisation energy , electron affinity, enthalpy of formation, enthalpy of atomisation and bond enthalpy. This card sort can be printed on A4 paper or laminated and cut out for a kinesthetic activity. The answers are included on the PowerPoint of the card sort. The lesson then moves on to constructing Born Haber cycles and then finishes with exam questions on the PowerPoint. Extra exam questions are included separately.
Entropy lesson - A level chemistry - outstanding
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Entropy lesson - A level chemistry - outstanding

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This is a lesson on entropy for A level chemistry that has been thoroughly planned and resourced. The lesson starts by getting students to classify reactions as endothermic or exothermic. This is required knowledge so please read through these before the lesson and make sure that students have covered this content. This starter activity could be printed and laminated to be used as a card sort. The concept of entropy is introduced along with the first and second laws of thermodynamics. A stack of Jenga bricks or a stack of cards could be used to illustrate that disorder is a more likely arrangement (gases) than order (solid). The custard powder combustion demo is used to illustrate that entropy changes in the system help predict whether a reaction is spontaneous (whether it happens). Details of how to carry this out can be found online at the RSC wiki and other websites. Students then are introduced to the three formulae needed and complete a worksheet that I have created where they calculate entropy of a system, entropy of the surroundings and total entropy. This is used to predict whether the reactions happen (i.e. whether there is a positive value). Note that balanced equations have not been provided and students at this level should be capable of writing these and sharing them with the class. Markschemes are provided for the entropy calculations. The lesson ends with a comparison of the importance of entropy and enthalpy. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Work done questions and answers worksheet with formula triangle - for foundation GCSE students
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Work done questions and answers worksheet with formula triangle - for foundation GCSE students

(18)
This is a worksheet on applying the work done formula (work done = force x distance) with questions and answers. It uses formula triangles to make the content accessible for lower ability students. The final two questions are more challenging as students need to convert from kiloNewtons to Newtons. The conversion is given at the bottom of the sheet. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Digestive system video questions and answers differentiated fully
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Digestive system video questions and answers differentiated fully

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The video that accompanies this worksheet has a weblink that is provided at the top of the worksheet. The video lasts for 3 minutes and 38 seconds so it is suggested that either the video is regularly paused or shown twice. Keywords and numbers are provided in a wordbook printed on the sheet. Challenge questions prompt students to analyze the digestion system such as why it should have a large surface area. It is suggested that students peer mark their work and AFL can be through the score they achieved or the number of challenge questions answered correctly. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Solutions particle theory - covers solubility, solute, solvent
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Solutions particle theory - covers solubility, solute, solvent

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This is a lesson designed for higher ability Key Stage 3 students on solubility. The lesson starts off with a key a question about how much sugar is in coffee. This linked to a news item about a famous coffee brand that has up to 25 teaspoons (100g) of sugar in one cup of coffee. Students then consider what a concentrated an dilute solution looks like in terms of the arrangement of their particles. Finally students need to use the printed spreadsheet to calculate the concentration of various drinks and suggest what could be done to dilute them. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Entropy lesson - Senior High School Chemistry - oustanding
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Entropy lesson - Senior High School Chemistry - oustanding

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This is a lesson on entropy for Senior High School Chemistry that has been thoroughly planned and resourced. The lesson starts by getting students to classify reactions as endothermic or exothermic. This is required knowledge so please read through these before the lesson and make sure that students have covered this content. This starter activity could be printed and laminated to be used as a card sort. The concept of entropy is introduced along with the first and second laws of thermodynamics. A stack of Jenga bricks or a stack of cards could be used to illustrate that disorder is a more likely arrangement (gases) than order (solid). The custard powder combustion demo is used to illustrate that entropy changes in the system help predict whether a reaction is spontaneous (whether it happens). Details of how to carry this out can be found online at the UK Royal Society of Chemistry wiki and other websites. Students then are introduced to the three formulae needed and complete a worksheet that I have created where they calculate entropy of a system, entropy of the surroundings and total entropy. This is used to predict whether the reactions happen (i.e. whether there is a positive value). Note that balanced equations have not been provided and students at this level should be capable of writing these and sharing them with the class. Markschemes are provided for the entropy calculations. The lesson ends with a comparison of the importance of entropy and enthalpy. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Advanced titrations lesson - AS Chemistry
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Advanced titrations lesson - AS Chemistry

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This is an AS Chemistry lesson on advanced titration calculations for a very able class. Though this has grades C to A the concepts in back titration and the grade A zeolite research task together make this a fast paced lesson designed to challenge very bright students. An easier more differentiated version of this lesson will be uploaded to TES later in the year that will be accessed by weaker students. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Halogens GCSE tarsia - use as lesson starter, plenary or revision
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Halogens GCSE tarsia - use as lesson starter, plenary or revision

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This is a fun GCSE chemistry tarsia for revision of the halogens. There are 16 triangles with 18 pairs of questions and answers that make a parallelogram. I suggest that the A4 tarsia is printed on card and then the outline is cut out. Students can then quickly cut out the individual triangles. Included are the following topics: state of the halogens at room temperature (astatine is unstable), uses of the halogens, trend for melting point and reactivity with group 1 metals, charge of group 1 metal and halogen ions. The tarsia software is free to download but there is not currently a version for Mac computers.
History of the periodic table GCSE - includes Mendeleev, Newlands and noble gases
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History of the periodic table GCSE - includes Mendeleev, Newlands and noble gases

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This lesson forms part of the chemistry GCSE atomic structure scheme of work for the new 2016 AQA specification. The starter is a fun kinsthetic activity where students put element cards into groups. These cards are available to buy from Royal Society for Chemistry. A link is included on the slide. Alternatively students could make a pack of element fact cards for homework and bring them to lesson for the starter activity. Students are then introduced to Dobereiner and Newlands. They watch a 3 minute YouTube video about Mendeleev and answer the questions provided. Students then consider that Mendeleev missed group 8/0 elements and swapped iodine / tellurium so that the group 7 elements are all non-metals (i.e. why de not always put elements in order of increasing atomic weight). There is an activity where students consider the good and bad things about each scientists methodology and write an explanation for why we now use Mendeleevs table. Finally there is an exam question plenary. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Alkanes GCSE - includes description and explanation of boiling, molymods, three types of formula
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Alkanes GCSE - includes description and explanation of boiling, molymods, three types of formula

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This is a lesson designed for the 2016 AQA GCSE chemistry specification. In my scheme of work it follows the topics of crude oil and properties of different fractions. Students are introduced to the terms 'homologous series' and 'functional group'. These terms are clearly mentioned in the specification. Students learn about these formulae: molecular, displayed and skeletal. Students make ethene using plastic molymods or they could use the paper molymods supplied. They will need paper fasteners to attach the atoms and the bonds. They then complete the formula worksheet then describe then explain the trend with reference to intermolecular forces. The lesson ends with an exam question plenary. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Evolution of the atmosphere GCSE - AQA 2016 specification - Outstanding lesson
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Evolution of the atmosphere GCSE - AQA 2016 specification - Outstanding lesson

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This is a thorough set of lesson resources designed to promote engagement, pace and sustained student progress through a 60 minute GCSE lesson on the evolution of the atmosphere. The lesson has been designed for the updated 2016 specification for exam board AQA and topic 4.9 Chemistry of the atmosphere. This is the first of a series of lessons on the atmosphere. Please read the lesson plan and lesson PowerPoint. The hook is students considering what pieces of information are needed to work out if life exists on other planets. Students may then consider the Drake equation (in the PPT) and the key question "what is the link between the evolution of the atmosphere and the evolution of life?". There is an Ammonium Dichromate volcano demo (see RSC link in lesson plan). The main activity is where students create a storyboard using detailed lamented sheets and then peer assess using a marking grid that suits higher and lower ability groups. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Metals alloys lesson GCSE - independent learning through role play, creative task and using data
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Metals alloys lesson GCSE - independent learning through role play, creative task and using data

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This is an independent learning lesson on alloys for GCSE chemistry. It is designed to promote independent learning and higher level thinking through role play, designing an aeroplane and justifying the choice of metals used by using data from a data table. The lesson starts by getting students to think about what three properties metals used to make the worlds fastest jet engined plane (SR-71 Blackbird) would need. Students could be shown a short video from YouTube to prompt their thinking and write their answers on post-it notes. They they then discuss what alloys are and could be asked identify the alloys in the metal trump cards pack (this would need to be printed in advance). They are then introduced to the 4 person role play task where they design an aeroplane. Limit their on this task to around 20 minutes. At the end they could either present their work or answer the 6 mark exam question at the end of the lesson. There is a student-friendly marking grid provided. The lesson menu is available for weaker students. Please look carefully at each of the resources provided before the lesson and decide which ones would best suit your group and length of lesson. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Fermentation GCSE chemistry - covers symbol equations and the two methods of making ethanol
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Fermentation GCSE chemistry - covers symbol equations and the two methods of making ethanol

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This is a thoroughly planned lesson on the production of ethanol by fermentation of glucose and hydration of ethene. It has differentiated resources and a variety of activities and exam question plenaries to check student understanding. There is an optional production of ethanol practical that could be included in this lesson or as a separate lesson. Students start by recalling the formulae for different substances then learn the symbol equations for the two methods of ethanol production. They then carry out a literacy activity where they sort the advantages and disadvantages of each method of ethanol production. The lesson concludes with an exam question plenary. The practical could be included before comparing the advantages and disadvantages of hydration versus fermentation. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Hess Law cycles - An introduction - covers construction, vectors and different types
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Hess Law cycles - An introduction - covers construction, vectors and different types

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This is a lesson for A level chemistry where students are introduced to Hess Law through the topic of vectors that they would have learned at GCSE. The lesson starts with a GCSE recap on vectors then moves into discussing that some enthalpy changes reactions cannot be calculated or are difficult to calculate and so alternative reactions are used. Students then learn that the exams require them to use a few types of enthalpy change to calculate an unknown enthalpy change. These are bond enthalpies, enthalpy of combustion and enthalpy of formation. Students are told how to draw the arrows. Please note that this a very difficult topic for all students and do not assume that the lesson can be rushed for the brightest students. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Alkenes GCSE - 2016 specification - includes tests with bromine, chlorine and iodine + practical
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Alkenes GCSE - 2016 specification - includes tests with bromine, chlorine and iodine + practical

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This is a chemistry lesson designed for the 2016 specification for the exam board AQA. The updated specification specifically makes reference to chlorine and iodine and so the results of alkene tests with these halogens has been included. There is a practical that is based on a RSC practical. Instructions and safety advice for the practical are included in the lesson. Please only carry out the practical in a room with windows that is well ventilated. The lesson starts with a recap of cracking - this is taught previously in my scheme of work. It then moves on to alkene formulae. The students then carry out the alkenes and bromine water practical. They then write word and symbol equation for the tests. More able students can identify the functional groups in the molecules. The lesson finishes with a fun plenary using whiteboards. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Metals and non-metals KS3 tarsia
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Metals and non-metals KS3 tarsia

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This is a fun KS3 chemistry tarsia for revision of metals and non-metals. There are 16 triangles with 18 pairs of questions and answers that make an equilateral triangle. I suggest that the A4 tarsia is printed on card and then the outline is cut out. Students can then quickly cut out the individual triangles. Included are the following topics: element symbols and properties of metals and non-metals. The 'fjsw' file can be opened and modified with tarsia software. The tarsia software is free to download but there is not currently a version for Mac computers.
Relative formula mass and relative atomic mass GCSE tarsia
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Relative formula mass and relative atomic mass GCSE tarsia

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This is a fun GCSE chemistry tarsia for revision of calculating relative formula mass. There are 16 triangles with 18 pairs of questions and answers that make a parallelogram. I suggest that the A4 tarsia is printed on card and then the outline is cut out. Students can then quickly cut out the individual triangles. Included are the following topics: relative atomic mass of atoms and isotopes (isotopes are limited to isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen) and relative formula mass of different compounds. The 'fjsw' file can be opened and modified with tarsia software. The software is free to download but there is not currently a version for Mac computers.
MRI and fMRI - A level chemistry and psychology - stages, comparison of MRI and fMRI, ethical issues
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MRI and fMRI - A level chemistry and psychology - stages, comparison of MRI and fMRI, ethical issues

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This is a set of resources for one or two lessons (depending on the length of the lesson) on MRI and fMRI. This forms part of a scheme of work that includes NMR. The lesson starts with an ethical question of whether criminals are responsible for their actions - whether they are born criminals. The name of the criminal can be changed to suit local news reports or film characters. The lesson then considers the famous story of the railway worker Phineas Gage whose behaviour changed suddenly after an accident that damaged his pre-frontal cortex. Thus this brain region has been discovered to be responsible for higher level thinking and control. The lesson then considers how the brain can be imaged - beginning with anatomy then considering MRI and fMRI. Students then watch a 5 minute YouTube video on MRI and make their own notes. There is then a loop game plenary to check understanding. The second half of the lesson considers fMRI and its application in the law courts. Students consider the case of the murderer Brian Dugan who used fMRI scans as part of his defense to show diminished responsibility - he showed a lack of activity in some brain regions associated with emotion. They produce a presentation and then present this to the class. A markscheme for the presentation is included. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.