Chemical Reactions


SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts.

We don’t often stop to think about it, but underlying many of our everyday activities are chemical reactions. From the cooking of an egg to the growth of a child, chemical reactions make things happen. Although many of the reactions that support our lives are quite complex, all follow the same basic rules: matter is conserved; energy is released or absorbed; new substances form. By studying chemical reactions from the simple to the complex, scientists are able to adapt principles of chemical reactivity to developing new foods, medicines, fuels, and even consumer goods such as cleaning agents and fabrics. The investigation of new chemical reactions continues to improve our lives and increase our understanding of the world.

This science guide is organized into four sections of Web resources that support curricular activities related to chemical reactions. The first section focuses on atomic rearrangements and changes in electron configurations within reacting atoms and molecules as the basis of chemical reactivity. The second supports the application of these principles to three types of chemical reactions: oxidation-reduction, acid-base, and free radical reactions. The third and fourth sections provide resources for teachers and students to delve into factors governing reaction rates and changes in energy as the result of reaction. Sites describing everyday examples of chemical reactions (such as those involved in making bread and cheese) are emphasized to help students develop an understanding of the importance and relevance of these reactions to everyday life. Sites are also included that explain some of the newer applications of chemistry, such as its uses in forensic science, medicine, materials science, and engineering.

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Reviews (10)
  • on Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:38 PM

SciGuides are really fantastic. If I am ever asked to teach chemistry, I can be confident knowing I'll have the Chemical Reactions SciGuide to go to for lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources. I'll be able to create outstanding lessons in a shorter amount of time since many resources are easily accessible in this SciGuide.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:00 PM

Looking for a great resource that will help with lesson planning? The Chemcial Reacitons Sciguide is filled with great ideas that will help to incorporate a lot of what the Chemcial Reactions Scipack has to offer. The Sciguide helps to put the information that was learned from the scipack into perspective by sharing interactives, activites and supplemental information from outside resources and websites that further help in comprehension of material and concepts such as types of reactions, speed of reactions, products and reactants.


  • on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:52 AM

It is definitely a five-star! I teach students of all levels in high school with all sorts of challenges, and I run out of resources just to teach the topic of states of matter. No matter how repetitive I get, and how much time I spend in teaching the concept I still struggle in making them understand. Just using one of the animations on state of matter in this sci-guide is a huge leap in my teaching. It is so informative, yet it doesn't take much talking. It makes you able to manipulate various temperature conditions and elements too in order to understand the impact on atomic energy. This is a very good way to explain the concept of temperature in connection to average kinetic energy.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:17 AM

I was impressed, which would not take much. I felt unqualified to review the material, but I did appreciate the order. It had a feel of cohesiveness that helped me not feel overwhelmed by the extreme volume of new material (for me). Wow! There was so much I never learned in high school. That is what happens when you read science fiction in science class. “All bonds involve electrons, so the number and arrangement of electrons in an atom determines its reactivity. Carbon's electron configuration, for example, gives it the ability to form many of the molecules necessary for life. Electron arrangement also determines the shape of a molecule; shape, in turn, determines many of the compound's physical properties. This theme introduces the concept of chemical reactions, the factors that determine chemical reactivity, and the variety of chemical reactions that occur around us.” I never knew how connected properties were to molecule shape which is in turn connected to electron arrangement. Seeing how matter and its reactions are governed by predictable rules and how interconnected it all is down to the atomic level makes me want to help students make those connections in mathematics. Because of how mathematics has been built/discovered it has a similar interconnectedness from its lofty heights down to its foundations. When I help students see the links between the new material they are struggling with and the basic content they are fluent with it can strengthen their understanding backward and forward. There's a lot here. Many good links

Floyd  (Honolulu, HI)
Floyd (Honolulu, HI)

  • on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:45 PM

Even i had a hard time understanding chemistry in high school, but with the simulations provided, students can partake in trial and error learning as they are guided through each step when creating the different types of molecule bonds. This is a lot more engaging than the traditional textbook learning or having your teacher just draw these on the board. The information given is also easy to understand and to follow along with. Great guide.

Mitchell Miho
Mitchell Miho

  • on Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:21 PM

A very useful resource in the sense that I had a difficult time with the sciPack affiliated with this. Am I glad I went through with learning covalent bonds and ionic bonds and seeing different examples? Yes and no. I am glad I didn't quit but as far as what I needed equating to helping me teach these subjects in my 6th grade class, most of it was unnecessary. The resources here are all great and well done. I wish I had chosen something more suited toward my needs. I am grateful for this resource as we all should be. I wish I had these things when I was in high school or college. Maybe we should consider these being implemented for students, not only teachers for their content knowledge. I especially like the visual representations and interactive graphics to help me understand the theoretic applications on the atomic level.

Kyle Nakamoto
Kyle Nakamoto

  • on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:19 PM

Chemical Reactions SciGuide provides a wealth of information and resources that are very useful in teaching and learning Chemistry concepts. There are four Themes - A World of Reactions, Matter and Energy, Rates of Chemical Reactions and Types of Reactions, each contains content article of concept presented with lesson resources, keyword descriptions of various website links for teachers and students, and additional resources like media, NSTA Resource Collections and Community Forums. Opening each of the themes will offer teachers more exciting and interesting ways of introducing and teaching chemistry concept to students. I very much like the NSTA Interactive activities specifically the “Identifying Products”. I utilized it to introduced Predicting Products of Chemical Reactions lessons to my students. I would like to see more variety to the different types of chemical equations. I enjoyed browsing through the list of Sites for Teachers and Students. There were really good website links that connects to simulations, interactive activities, tutorials, online quizzes and more. Unfortunately, I believe it needs updating because there were some links that were no longer working. The lesson plan includes multiple SciGuide Resources that address specific content with website links too. Then in each thematic page, one will find Other Resources which provides a SciGuide map. I realized that although most of the information in this SciGuide is geared towards grade levels 5-8, I find them appropriate to use in introducing difficult concepts to high school general chemistry students.

Caroline Encomienda  (Waipahu, HI)
Caroline Encomienda (Waipahu, HI)

  • on Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:42 PM

This SciGuide contains 4 different sections about chemical reactions. The first section covers atoms and molecules in a chemical reactions, the second section shares 3 types of chemical reactions, the third shares useful resources and lab experiments, and the last section introduces how all the different parts of the SciGuide apply to things in the real world. The resources that were available within the SciGuide were very useful and I used them to help further my understanding of chemical reactions. I found this SciGuide to be very useful for developing lessons for my class.

Cristey Kagawa
Cristey Kagawa

  • on Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:23 PM

This sciguide was organized into four different sections about chemical reactions. The first part was about atoms and molecules in a chemical reaction. The second discusses three types of chemical reactions. This part was most interesting to me in gaining some of the background knowledge and as a refresher. The third part provides resources for teachers and possible lab experiments that can be done with students. The last part explains how all of these different parts actually apply to things in the real world, which of course is the most important piece. Overall I enjoyed it, I thought at times it was a little more technical than it needed to be, but I have definitely gained from going through it.

Will Kane
Will Kane

  • on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:51 PM

After reviewing the links connected to this site, in both the teacher and students categories, most of the links were off topic and did not examine the concept of chemical bonding. There was a range in the type of information provided at the various sites, including information like scientific historical development, general information, to lesson plans. Some of the lesson plan links contained activities, but very few of the lesson plans followed the normally accepted scientific method lab report format that would align them with a scientific inquiry model. The links did not contain truly interactive elements beyond a few that had limited animation.

Sonja C  (Keaau, HI)
Sonja C (Keaau, HI)

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