A Brief History of Atoms: A Summery

By: Stephanie Thaler

A Brief History of Atoms details the evolution of the atom from a piece of dust to the model we know today! It is important for students to see that the atomic model of today was not something that was just put together whole, but instead was worked on and improved by numerous scientists over centuries. This allows students to better trust the atomic model and to see that even great scientists can make mistakes and don’t have everything right all the time.
This book is a fun, whimsical way to introduce the progression of the atom over time. The rhyming pattern of the book makes for easy recollection of the evolution that took place. It also is a great introduction to the atom unit because it introduces students to the structure of the atom: a dense, positive nucleus with protons and neutrons; and electrons that exist around that.
This book can be used with many literacy and vocabulary strategies in a classroom. Students can easily pull the information into a graphic organizer to easily see the evolution of the atom, and this can also be used with the pre-reading strategy “what I see/what I think” to look at the evolution of the model through the pictures. In addition students can use concept cards to pull out vocabulary that is troubling to them, which will help their overall understanding of not only this book, but other text with these terms. Looking not only at this text but at the digital text as a whole having students create their own digital text would be a great way to have students create something using their knowledge, to have a sense of ownership over the material, and to teach others what they have learned.

A Brief History of the Atom!

Are You My Match?

by: Michelle Ginett

"Are You My Match" is a book about different bonds that can be made with hydrogen. This would be used with a unit about the Periodic Table of elements or a unit about types of bonds. This book could be used a pre-reading strategy to activate previous knowledge about types of substances. The book could also be used as a post reading strategy to have students relate the information they just learned to common compounds found in nature. This book would be very good for a vocabulary lesson as well, since it contains a lot of vocabulary surrounding chemistry. For instance, students could complete a synetics vocabulary sheet after reading this book.

There are several ways that this book could be used with literacy strategies. First, I would show students images of elements in the periodic table. This would activate their prior knowledge about types of elements they may already be familiar with. After reading the book, I would have students complete a 3-2-1 where they would have to describe 3 relationships that were made, 2 types of bonds and one element they want to learn more about.


HCl + NaOH → H2O + NaCl

© Katie Oxman, All rights reserved
Posted by JoAnn M. Bertolino
The poem discusses Arrhenius Acid/Base Reaction from the perspective of a student performing a lab in Chemistry class.
Favorite Part: The "magic" of a reaction
Connection to the Content Area: This poem could be used with Listen-Read-Discuss.Before the poem I would go over Arrhenius Acid/Bases reactions.Then the students would read the poem.Then we would have a discussion about the poem.Questions that could be asked - Does the poem represent Arrhenius reactions?Is anything missing in regards to the reactions?
As stated in connection to the content area this poem is also great for dissection for each part of the reaction.


Posted by: Heidi Bossard
Snark-a-Snoops (2002-2010). Songs for teaching. Retrieved May 25, 2010 from http://www.songsforteaching.com/science/chemistry/acidsbasesfizzology.htm
This Chemistry song about Acids, Bases and pH written by Snark-a-Snoops, appeared in the above cited work.
Foamy frothy fizz, fizzology (Fizz spume, spume fizzoom)
Fester effervecsce fizzology (Fizz spume, spume fizzoom)
Start with a base
Higher pH
You get the gist (Gist fizzoom)
Acid comes next
Things get complex
And start to fizz…(Fizzoom)
Listen up to this outrageous Snarky tale (tale-oom, oom, tale-oom)
There’s a scale out there, and it’s not your old bathroom scale (scale-oom, oom, scale-oom)
pH scale
Never fails
Acid and base
Each one has a pH place
On the pH scale, seven’s the magical spot (spot, fizz-op)
Acids under seven, and bases all up on top (top fizz-op)
Acid, base
In one place
You’ve got a fizz recipe
Acid and base, here in one place, fizz recipe

Summary: The song “Fizzology” is a catchy way to introduce the vocabulary concepts of acids, bases and pH.

Favorite Part: I really like the descriptive nature of the pH scale. It states that it is “not your old bathroom scale” and that each acid and base has a unique place. This is an important principle for students to grasp and this fun tune creates an easy way for students to remember some pH concepts.

Connection to Instruction: Its rhyming nature will assist students in recalling the pH values for acids and bases. This would be a great way to reach students who have the musical intelligence as a preferred method for learning. I would use this song in my Acids and Bases unit as a way to introduce the material and capture the attention of my students.

Use of Literacy Strategies: This could be used as a pre-reading activity that would introduce the concepts to students and provide a musical/lyrical manner in which to engage the students in the material that they are about to cover. The five words – three words strategy could also be used to assess students prior knowledge of the subject.

Fun & Games in Chemistry

Posted by: Brad Bovenzi

Balasubramanian, D. (2005). Fun and Games in Chemistry. Chemistry International, 27, 8-11. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from http://www.iupac.org/publications/ci/2005/2701/3_balasubramanian.html.

This poem on pyridine, written by B.E. Lorenz, appeared in the above cited work.

Ode to Pyridine
Ah, sweet pyridine, thy vagrant scent
Doth waft up from my test tube, redolent,
And venture forth, in tendrils of perfume
To every distant corner of the room.
No hood on earth is there that can suppress
The wand’rings of thy cyclic happiness;
No hood is there that can contain or hide
Thy aromatic eagerness inside.
No prof or student, passing through the room,
Can quite evade the tendrils of thy fume,
Nor can they, drawing breath, stay unaware,
That thy six-membered rings pervade the air.
Come, my sweet amine, no more conspire
To fill this humble lab of mine entire,
Instead, let love thy pungency efface
In some fair Lewis acid’s fond embrace.

Yes, lend her thy electrons, sweet amine,
That lie outside thy circle, lone and lean,
And stretch thy bonds in themomotive glee
In some wild acid’s hungry company!

Summary: The poem is a relatively straightforward Keats-ian tribute to every chemist's favorite chemical to reek of rotten fish, pyridine. The poem describes pyridine's volatility, as well as its six-membered ring structure. The second stanza mentions, without saying directly, pyridine's behavior as a Lewis base. Because of its pair of electrons on the nitrogen in the ring, it can react with a Lewis acid, donating the pair of electrons.

Favorite Part: My favorite part is the entire poem (a cop-out, I know). There was a pyridine spill in a research lab when I was in college. It was bad enough that the immediate area was evacuated so that the chemical hygiene officer could address the incident. The poem reminds me of the wonderful odor that pervaded the area for a time afterward.

Connection to Instruction: I could use this in my AP Chemistry class, as I use pyridine (not in actual presence) in several class examples. It would also be useful during the section on Lewis Acid/Base Theory.

Use of Literacy Strategies: This could be a pre-reading activity before talking about (or in conjunction with) the section on Lewis Acid/Base Theory.

Sulfuric Acid

Posted by: Pamela Kirby

Rodriguez, L. (1998) Sulfuric Acid. Available: Sulfuric Acid http://wwwchem.csustan.edu/chem3070/SO2.htm (May, 30, 2009).

Sulfuric Acid
by Lea Rodriguez
Sulfuric Acid is its name
better known as Acid Rain.
Our factories are burning coal and do not care
that they're sending SO2 everywhere.
It's SO2 you understand
that creates Acid Rain across this land.
This oxidizing agent in our rain
oxidizes iron and that's a pain.
It bothers fishes in the lakes
by lowering pH for goodness sakes.
When a factory is puffing stuff
that is the time to really get tough.
Remind them to use cleaner fuels and they will see
that our world is a better place to be.
The fish will thank you and so will we
we learned it all in Chemistry.
Copyright © 1998 Lea Rodriguez

Summary: This poem discusses sulfuric acid as one of the major components of acid rain. It identifies sulfuric acid as forming from sulfur dioxide and summarizes some of the most common effects of acid rain. It also identifies factories as the major source of sulfur dioxide and introduces use of cleaner fuels as a possible way to reduce this problem.

Favorite Part: “The fish will thank you”
Any time animals getting hurt comes up, students are immediately interested!

Connection to Instruction: In General Chemistry, I would use this poem when discussing the use of fossil fuels and the effects it has on the environment. The part about using “cleaner fuels” is also a nice lead into alternative energy sources.

Use of Literacy Strategies:
Develop an anticipation guide relating to use of fossil fuels and their effects on the environment

In a Glass of Cider

In a Glass of Cider
by Robert Frost

It seemed I was a mite of sediment
That waited for the bottom to ferment
So I could catch a bubble in ascent.
I rode up on one till the bubble burst,
And when that left me to sink back reversed
I was no worse off than I was at first.
I'd catch another bubble if I waited.
The thing was to get now and then elated.

Summary: Robert Frost identifies with nucleation sites, variations in density and fermentation!

Favorite part: "The thing was to get now and then elated"--what a wonderful way to consider the raisin in the glass of Sprite, rising and falling as the bubbles form and pop.

Connection to instruction: Start with the poem. Discuss with students the chemistry involved. Demo the raisins in Sprite. Go outside and demo the Mentos in Coke. Watch for the elation on your students' faces!

Use of Literacy Strategies:
A whole class think-aloud--this is a connection between a major American poet and chemistry! Engage
the students to generate their own poem on a topical subject--perhaps a biopoem.

Posted by: Rachel

The Elements

Posted by: Rick
Lehrer, T. (1959). The Elements. On An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer [CD]. Boston:Lehrer Records
This is a song of all the known elements at the time going up to element # 102, Nobelium. It just lists all of the elements with some satire behind the song. It is set to the tune of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s “Major General Song.”
Favorite Part:
I like the whole thing. I have literally had an entire class of 30 + students open up a website (http://www.privatehand.com/flash/elements.html) that has a flash animation of the song so that it plays all at the same time in a stereo effect.
Connection to Instruction:
I use this song to let the kids know that science can be and is fun. It gives them at least a background knowledge having heard the elements names. Which is important in a chemistry classroom.
Use of Literacy Strategies:
  • There have been other elements that have been fabricated since the time that Tom Lehrer published this song, I would have students try to fit in the new elements so that it still stayed along with the flow of the music.

Picture Book

Elements with Style!

Dingle, Adrian. (2007). The Periodic Table: Elements With Style! KINGFISHER, London & New York
Posted by JoAnn M. Bertolino
Summary: The periodic table is made less intimating by the association of funny characters attached to each element. Each character takes on the personality of the element and describes themselves.
Favorite Part: pg 8 Hydrogen - The description really drives home the importance that "little" Hydrogen has in the world. Little does not mean insignificant!
Connection to the content: The student is able to see how much information the periodic table contains in regards to each element.When looking at the periodic table as a whole, important information can be missed due to the copious amount of information found on the table.I believe this book will help students absorb the vastness of the table one element at a time.
Literacy Strategies: I believe that KWL can be used with this book.I would call out an element and show the picture.I would then have the students write what they think they know and what they want to know.Then after reading the passage I would ask them to write down anything that they felt was important about the element and relate their thought to something they have run across. (In personal experience or link to something else they have read).From here we can then use clustering as a strategy.

Acid Rain

Posted by: Heidi Bossard

Edmonds, A. (1997). Acid rain. Brookfield, Connecticut: Copper Beech Books.

Summary: The picture book Acid Rain provides an overview of this global issue. It defines the problem, identifies the causes and highlights potential solutions. The author takes a very systematic approach by investigating the evolution of acid rain. The book provides a high level look at the issue through the use of images and an easy read format.

Favorite Part: I am very impressed with the illustrations in the book. There were a variety of images that captured the important aspects of acid rain. The photographs and drawings were implemented in a way that draws the reader in to the subject matter. An impressionable image was one that captured the process of neutralization of a lake by the addition of lime (page 24).

Connection to Instruction: This book would be a great asset to use in teaching about acids and bases. In thirty pages it covers the major themes concerning acid rain. The pictures are engaging and introduce the concepts of acids, bases, pH and neutralization.

Use of Literacy Strategies: This could be used as a pre-reading activity that would introduce the concepts to students and provide visual materials to engage the students in the material that they are about to cover. I would also use the KWLH strategy to access students’ prior knowledge, to assist in making connections and to discover what they are hoping to learn about acid rain. As a post reading activity the remaining portions of the KWLH would be completed.

Air Pollution

Posted by: Pamela Kirby

Stille, D. R. (1990). A New True Book: Air Pollution. Chicago: Childrens Press

This book starts out looking at the varius layers of the atmosphere as well as the gases that make up the various levels. It addresses the importance of high quality air for breathing and the harm polluted air can do to human health. In then depicts several of the causes and effects of air pollution. It addresses both the natural and man-made sources of pollution and looks at the severity of various pollutants. It ends with several possible solutions to reduce air pollution and improve air quality.

Favorite Part:
There are two pictures on p19 of volcanic erruptions. They do a really nice job of showing the amount of pollutants that are spewed into the air when a volcano errupts. This makes it very clear that natural sources can have a major impact on air quality.

Connection to Instruction:
I would use this book in my General Chemistry class when we are discussing air pollution.

Use of Literacy Strategies:
I would use this book as pre-reading as we are starting the air pollution unit. I would take certain pictures out of this book and have students examine them and see what information they can extract from each picture.

The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry

Posted by: Brad Bovenzi

Gonick, L. & Criddle, C. (2005). The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry. New York: Harper.

Summary: The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry seems at the outset to be a watered-down, comic book version of chemistry. Upon further reading, though, one discovers that it has considerable depth. It begins with an historical treatment of the discipline. It continues through each of the major topics presented in a typical chemistry course. It contains discussion of advanced topics, such as weak acid dissociation and the Gibbs Free Energy Law. The book attempts to take the mystery out of the field through its informal presentation.

Favorite Part: I am very impressed with the depth of the material. For instance, on page 174 there begins a discussion of finding the pH of a weak acid. This is a topic that includes equilibrium expressions, charts, and quadratic equations. The authors even discuss making certain chemical assumptions to ease the workload in the problem. All of this material is easily at an advanced high school or college level. Instead of avoiding the difficult topics, the authors treat them directly here (and again on page 176).

Connection to Instruction: This book could be used as an ancillary to the textbook. When the material is difficult, this book may help to clarify the points to the students. The less formal, creative presentation may make the concepts more accessible.

Use of Literacy Strategies: This could be used as a pre-reading visual to interest the students in the material that they are about to cover. It could also be used post-reading to reinforce what they have just read.


Posted by: Chris

Knapp, B. (1996). Carbon. Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational Publishing.

Summary: This is a picture book about the element Carbon. The book discusses the importance of Carbon to the human race in colorful, detailed pictures and provides supporting text.

Favorite Part: The book shows carbon in its many, many forms. One thing that I really like is that it will show a picture of a real world example of Carbon, and will then also show the molecular structure of the Carbon as it appears in that object, detailing bonding and arrangement. The book also has a detailed Periodic Table as well as a section that helps decipher chemical equations, which can be very helpful to any student.

Connection to Instruction: This book is appropriate at all levels of instruction. This book illustrates the important uses of Carbon in our everyday lives, something many students may be unaware of. The books coloful illustrations are certainly capable of sparking the interest of even the most reluctant of students. Even those who are fluent in the field of Chemistry will find interesting information in this book. One side note: This book is one of an entire series that breaks the Periodic Table up element by element. As a Chemistry teacher, I would love to have the entire set in my classroom!

Use of Literacy Strategies:
  • I would have students work on a 3-2-1 Organizer. I think that the book sets up perfectly for this. They will undoubtedly find interesting information and have questions, but, hopefully, they will find a topic that interests them in such a way that they could write a small essay about.
  • A Biopoem would be a good, creative strategy to use. It would be intersting to see what characteristics of Carbon that students pick to use in the biopoem.

Nuclear Waste

Posted by: Rachel

Nuclear Waste by Kate Scarborough

Summary: This non-fiction book takes a look at Nuclear energy—in the context of other energy sources, what radiation is, how nuclear energy is created and utilized, what safety issues are involved, how to deal with the waste product, and how the public accepts this.
The book offers several experiments for the reader to try—generating a greenhouse effect, exploring the ‘forces’ of magnets, how movement can generate heat, what happens to organic waste. These experiments, while simplistic, give the reader something immediately accessible to consider while reading a text about something less accessible.

Favorite Part: The photo of the four in radiation protection suits.

Connection to instruction: The extensive use of photographs is what makes this text engaging. Pictures of people in protective suits, comparative images of the pollution generated by alternative sources of energy (oil, coal), the complications of containing radioactive waste in barrels submerged in concrete in underground sites gives readers an immediate sense of the complications involved in the generation of energy for public consumption. The text is easy to read—usually one paragraph per bold heading, and has an ‘informative’ feel rather than a didactic or ‘instructional’ feel. This would be a really helpful text to introduce a Nuclear Chemistry unit, since waste disposal is not typically dealt with in depth in textbooks, and this presents a broad picture of the use energy in society.

Use of Literacy Strategies: Activate background knowledge by reading this at the beginning of a Nuclear Chemistry unit. Develop an anticipation guide on the pros and cons of Nuclear energy--and other energy sources.

Trade Fiction/Nonfiction

A Guide to the Elements

Stwertka, Albert. (2002)., A Guide to the Elements Second Edition.Oxford University Press., New York, Oxford
Posted by JoAnn M. Bertolino
Summary:Science introduces its past to the reader.This book contains the basic concepts of chemistry that are key for a solid foundation on which one can build further understandings as well as the interesting history of each of the elements' discovery.Also, everyday examples are given that I believe helps to relate to the reader.
Favorite Part: pg 40 Carbon -
The isotope of carbon known as carbon - 14 with a half-life of 5,730 years - has become a very useful tool for dating relics and archaeological artifacts.
This demonstrates the value of the element Carbon beyond the periodic table.Shows how useful it is to understand the elements and what they are capable of.
Connection to the content area: In depth coverage of each element.The elements are not just symbols with numbers on a table.They each have an important role and are essential to understanding Chemistry.
Literacy Strategies: Brainstorming - because this is more in-depth than the picture book I could introduce this after going over the picture book.Before I would assign reading from the book I would have each student brainstorm about what they think they already know about the element.
As they read I would have then use Post-it Response Notes.This way they could point out any confusion they still had in regards to the elements or any connections they made or anything that they found interesting.

Into Thin Air

Posted by: Heidi Bossard

Kidd, J.S., & Kidd, R.A. (1998). Into thin air: The problem of air pollution. New York: Facts On File Inc..

Summary: The book Into Thin Air examines the issues and questions the attempts by society to control air pollution. The authors use history, sociology, chemistry, earth science, biology and mathematics to explore this complex problem that impacts our environment.

Favorite Part: Chapter six takes an in depth view of acid rain. The authors have excellent examples that demonstrate the levels of pollution. The book also explains in detail the rules and regulations designed to protect the environment and their impacts on industry. I was impressed with the documentation of the use of anthracite and bituminous coal and the detailed explanation of the efforts employed to reduce their negative impacts on air quality.

Connection to Instruction: This book could be used to demonstrate the integrated nature of science. It addresses a real life issue that requires chemistry (acid / bases), earth science, biology and mathematics to fully comprehend the problem. The authors explore controversial areas and motivate the readers by showing how scientists compete as well as collaborate with one another.

Use of Literacy Strategies: I would begin using a think aloud strategy to assist students with the difficulty the concepts presented. This would provide an opportunity demonstrate the integrate nature of the text. I would follow up with the use of jigsaws to allow students the opportunity to collaborate.

One-Minute Readings

Posted by: Pamela Kirby
Trade Nonfiction
Brinckerhoff, R. F. (1992). One-Minute Readings: Issues in Science, Technology, and Society. Parsippany, NJ: Dale Seymour Publications.

This book is composed of short readings on several current issues in all of the sciences. Many of the readings are brief overviews of the issues that make good introductions. There are also several readings that have cartoons that are very helpful for students to achieve better understanding.

Favorite Part:
There is a cartoon on page 63 showing a car crossing the state line between a state with little (or no) air pollution control and a state with very strict air pollution control laws. There is a very defined line between the polluted air and the non-polluted air in the different states. I think that this helps students realize that air pollution is something that has to be dealt with on the world level, and not simply on the local level.

Connection to Instruction:
There are readings in this book that relate to just about every contemporary issue I discuss in my classroom, including global warming, nuclear waste, and the ozone hole.

Use of Literacy Strategies:
Many of these readings, and espeically the cartoons, can be used for pre-reading to activate prior knowledge on these subjects.

The Radioactive Boy Scout

Posted by: Brad Bovenzi

Silverstein, K. (2004). The Radioactive Boy Scout. New York: Villard.

Summary: This book, a true story which first appeared in Harper's Magazine, describes David Hahn's efforts to build a working nuclear breeder reactor as a boy scout merit badge project. His project was not successful in that he was not able to sustain a chain reaction. The project did throw off enough radiation to warrant EPA intervention. The account ends with David in the Navy, still dabbling (as much as possible) in nuclear research.

Favorite Part: I like the references to The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, the first of which appears on page 12. Reading this book impelled me to find my own copy of The Golden Book. I was able to find one on the Internet, the home of everything worth pursuing. It's eye-opening indeed to see the things that children can and are encouraged implicitly to do in the comfort of their own homes. Sort of like building a nuclear reactor.

Connection to Instruction: This would be an excellent resource to use in conjunction with a unit on atomic energy. It could fit into a chemistry curriculum or a physics curriculum extremely well.

Use of Literacy Strategies: An anticipation guide might be useful prior to reading this text. This would also be a book for which think-marks and coding text would be extremely helpful.


Science Illustrated

Posted by JoAnn M. Bertolino
Summary:Great descriptive pictures to go along with informative and interesting articles about the science community.
Favorite Part: The Ask Us page.The questions are interesting like - How do dogs smell cancer? How do microwaves heat food? Can life exist without water?There is a least one question that can be incorporated into any science class.Also, I find that the articles and questions give great ideas for research projects.
Connection to the content area:As stated above there is always something that any science teacher can use in their classroom.The topics are vast and incorporate more than one aspect of science.A great way to demonstrate how the sciences are merging together.Also, the topics are cutting-edge interesting and coincides with what is being addressed in the news.
Literacy Strategies:There are many types of strategies that can be used.Read Alouds - I would have the class read the article(s) together and each take turns reading.Before the reading I would give the title and have the studentsperform Anticipation Guides.If I had the students read to themselves I would incorporate bookmarks that would be used later in a group discussion.

Why are Dispersant Chemicals Secret?

Posted by: Heidi Bossard

Shannon E., (2010, May 14). Why are dispersant chemicals secret? The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elaine-shannon/why-are-dispersant-chemic_b_575741.html:

Summary: The article addresses the clean up activities surrounding the recent oil spill from the British Petroleum’s exploration well. The journalist is trying to understand the chemical additives that total over 400,000 gallons of dispersants that are being added to the water in order to minimize the damage to the environment. The article questions if the chemical additives are actually helping or if they could be a negative impact adding to the long term harmful effects of the oil spill.

Favorite Part: I found that the analogy of making the Gulf of Mexico “an enormous floating science experiment” to be very intriguing. The journalist feels that the chemicals being added as dispersing agents are not being adequately disclosed. The organic sulfonic acid salt family is listed as apart of the clean up but toxicity studies have not been conducted on the product.

Connection to Instruction: This article is a great way to incorporate current events into an acid and base unit of study. The students will be able to see how understanding the concepts of acids and bases are essential in evaluating the clean up efforts needed in the Gulf of Mexico. The results of the oil spill can have the potential to impact our daily lives. It is a relevant topic that should concern today’s students.

Use of Literacy Strategies: I would use a visual presentation of images representing the oil spill as a pre reading strategy. I think that showing the actual results of the spill and the methods used to clean up the oil would assist in engaging the students. It would also allow students to access prior knowledge before reading the text as well as set a purpose for the reading. I would also use an anticipation guide to challenge students thinking about this controversial topic.

The Blackwater Escape

Posted by: Pamela Kirby

Waddell, T. G., & Rybolt, T. R. (2003). The Blackwater Escape. Journal of Chemical Education, 80, 401-406.

This is a chemical mystery in which Sherlock Holmes must determine how the prisoner Mouse Mathison escaped from prison. Students follow Holmes through in his investigation of the crime scene and analysis of the evidence he has collected. Students are then asked to solve the mystery of the escape and where Mouse can be found for recapture.

Connection to Instruction:
Solving this mystery requires knowledge of electrolytic cells. Students need to apply what they have learned to a new situation. The application of information demonstrates that students have a firm grasp on the information and understand it well enough to use it in a new way.

Favorite Part:
My favorite part of this particular story is when Holmes is investigating the cell for evidence. The description of the cell is very detailed and gives students a good picture of what the cell would have looked like. It provides details that are not linked to the escape, and therefore forces the students to determine what evidence is important.

Use of Litereary Strategies:
I would start this reading as a think-aloud and have students finish the reading and solve the puzzle in groups.

Ban, Sparkle, Burst, & Boom

Posted by: Rick
Sohn, E. (June 29, 2005). Ban, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom. Science News for Kids Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2008, from http://sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20050629/Feature1.asp
This article explains the science of fireworks. It explains how fireworks have evolved over the past 2000 years. With fireworks now available in a myriad of colors, designs, and shapes.
Favorite Part:
Fourth Paragraph
“Viewer satisfaction demands serious science. All year long, researchers such as (John) Conkling mix and burn chemicals in the lab to see what kinds of flames they can create. Now, with advances in technology and chemistry, holiday celebration care more dazzling and colorful than ever.”
Connection to Instruction:
This could be used in a high school chemistry classroom. It shows how different elements have different light spectra, which allows the fireworks to have different colors. This article could also pique the interest of a future scientist, allowing the students to see that now all science is done in a boring lab.
Use of Literacy Strategy:
  • Think-Aloud – I would do a think-aloud with the students for this article so that the students could see the proper technique on how to actively read.

Chemical & Engineering News

Posted by: Brad Bovenzi

Chemical and Engineering News (an American Chemical Society publication)

Summary: This weekly magazine is a combination of current news articles, editorials and articles of interest to the professional chemists who comprise the ACS. It also has semi-regular book reviews and an occasional feature entitled "What's That Stuff?" in which the science behind common objects is discussed.

Favorite Part: There are numerous features that keep me coming back to this magazine each week. I have purchased several books based on the reviews in the magazine. The "What's That Stuff?' section is fantastic, with topics such as kitty litter or photochromic lenses. The magazine also publishes annual reports on salaries in the field, degrees awarded and employment statistics. They are useful for my AP students, who may be considering further study in the field.

Connection to Instruction: The "What's That Stuff?" articles would be useful for any level of chemistry. The news articles might be tougher for a regular high school chemistry class, but they could be better for an AP Chemistry or other college-level class.

Use of Literacy Strategies: The articles in this magazine would make great think-aloud exercises, like the article on obesity medication that I used as an example in this GMST literacy class.

Journal of Chemical Education Magazine

Posted by: Laurie

Summary: This magazine focuses on how chemistry can be used in the classroom and what research is being done in the field. It has sections that are designed specifically for students, teachers, and researchers.

Favorite Part: My favorite part of this magazine is the in-class lab experiment that is provided in every issue. The experiment has both a teacher and student page for the teacher to copy. Each lab for the student has an explanation, procedure, pictures, questions, and extra resources. Each lab for the teacher has an explanation, connection to lecture, and the answers to the students’ questions.

Connection to Instruction: This magazine includes activities for the classroom that students can use. One issue in particular uses a sudoku puzzle to get students familiar with chemical formulas and symbols. Every episode includes the lab experiment which can be used in the classroom. Also, with a subscription, users have access to all back issues of the journal so they have access to even more labs and activities.

Use of Literacy Strategies:
  • Think Aloud will help students see the connection between lecture material and laboratory procedures
  • Pictures and mini sudoku puzzles within the magazine can be used to grab student attention, spark interest, and activate prior knowledge

Periodic Table

Posted by: Chris

Summary: This is a great article giving a brief, but thorough, explanation of the Periodic Table of the Elements. The article focuses on the organization of the table, which to many students can be a great source of overwhelming frustration.

Favorite Part: This article is accompanied by an interactive Periodic Table, allowing students to delve further into the Table. There are also a few questions on the page for students to ask themselves for self-assessment.

Connection to Instruction: The Elements and the Periodic Table are important to many aspects of Chemistry. Our students must be able to understand how to use it as an effective tool if they are to become competent Chemistry students.

Use of Literary Strategies:
I would have my students use a graphic organizer to help them decipher the information found on the Periodic Table.

Other Web Resource

Connect a Million Minds

Posted by JoAnn M. Bertolino

Summary:A pledge to assist in engaging young minds in the science, technology and math fields.The website informs one of afterschool activities that are occurring in the community.
Favorite Part: Even though the pledge is targeted towards teachers and people in the work force, the pledge can be made by a student.When it asks for a # of students that that person will engage the student can put in the # one (meaning them) and receive information that will lead them to a plethora of activities.
The website keeps track of how many people have pledged.
Connection to the content area:The are many activities that incorporate Chemistry and reading.If a student is interested in an activity they could present what they learn to the class for credit.
Reading Strategies:If a student is presenting I would have them decide what strategies they would like the class to use.The student would have to supply some sort of reading material for their classmates that relates to their experience.

What is Acid Rain?

Posted by: Heidi Bossard

United States Environmental Protection Agency. What is acid rain? Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/education/site_students/whatisacid.html

Summary: The website addresses the problem of acid rain. It defines the problem and outlines the sources of pollution. It describes the negative effects that it can have on humans, the environment as well as buildings and objects. The website also addressed the actions that have been taken to reduce the harmful effects of acid rain.

Favorite Part: I found that the diagram describing how acid rain affects a food web to be very intriguing. It uses phytoplankton as an example and demonstrates the dramatic effect that acid rain can have on the food supply of a particular ecosystem.

Connection to Instruction: This website has a great overview of acid rain. It provides concrete and concise examples of the problem, causes, effects and solutions. It also has interactive games and a video animation. I would definitely use this as a source for students to learn about acid rain within the unit of study on acids and bases. I would use the video animation as an engagement activity to introduce the reading.

Use of Literacy Strategies: I would use the think aloud as a literacy strategy to assist readers. I would ask the students to identify unfamiliar vocabulary, summarize the main ideas and to activate prior knowledge as the focus for this reading.

How Stuff Works

Posted by: Pamela Kirby

Freudenrich, C., & Fuller, J. (2009). How Nuclear Bombs Work. How Stuff Works. Retrieved July 21, 2009 from http://science.howstuffworks.com/nuclear-bomb.htm/printable.

This website explains the the workings of nuclear bombs. It explains the different type of bombs and explains their similarities and differences. It describes the parts needed to make a nuclear bomb and thier functions.
Favorite Part:
This website has wonderful animations showing the internal structure of each bomb and what happens when they are detonated. It shows particle animation of what happens during fission and fusion, and even the conversion of a neutron to a proton during tritium decay.
Connection to Instruction:
Students need to know about the use of nuclear energy for both power generation and bombs. This article is part of a larger WebQuest I do with my students that includes several additional website readings.
Use of Literacy Strategies:
Before reading this article, I would create an anticipation guide for the students.

The Periodic Table of Videos

Posted by: Brad Bovenzi

The Periodic Table of Videos, found at www.periodicvideos.com.

Summary: This site, compiled by the University of Nottingham, has a short (3-4 minutes) video on each of the elements on the periodic table. (It's a YouTube corollary.) The videos describe the chemistry of the element, and there are often clips of demonstrations involving the elements. Some of the videos are quite vivid.

Favorite Part: All you need to be hooked on this site is to watch the video of caesium. It debunks chemistry myth with real, solid, correct science. There is an explosion. Best of all, how could you not love the hairdo? Watch it. You'll see what I mean. Then you'll show it in class.

Connection to Instruction: This would be a useful resource for an entire year. Any time an element is mentioned, the teacher could show the video. It is great when one does not want to do the demo displayed due to safety or financial considerations.

Use of Literacy Strategies: The videos could serve as pre-reading exercises to get students interested about the reading to follow.

American Chemical Society

Posted by: Laurie

Web resource: http://portal.acs.org

Summary: This website has great information in both chemistry education and research. This website outlines research publications, national meetings (of which I have attended!), careers in chemistry, and educational tips.

Favorite Part: Following links for: Education then Activities for Children, provides students with activities, articles, puzzles, and games that can help in their understanding of difficult topics. The activities are divided into “Science at Home”, “Be a Chemist”, “Planet Earth” and “Your Body”. These activities can hopefully engage students and even their parents in what they are learning in class.

Connection to Instruction: The articles are designed for 4th-6th grade level but may be appropriate for any age by relating a chemistry topic to something simple or relative to their everyday lives. Also, students who may be interested in chemistry can use the website to see new chemical discoveries, join memberships, receive journals, visit conferences, and overall be aware of what is going on in the chemical world.

Use of Literacy Strategies:
  • The puzzles – mazes, word games – can be used as a pre-reading strategy to get students familiar with or interested in vocabulary and topics they will see in the text
  • I would also use the Think Aloud strategy with some of the articles that are provided on the website. The articles can act as a connection between conceptually difficult topics in class and the “real world” and by using the Think Aloud I can point out the connections.